The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has commenced its investigation into the Balasore train accident, with railway officials emphasizing once again that the crash was a result of intentional interference with the electronic interlocking system.
A CBI team arrived at the crash site in the evening to begin the inquiry, which aims to determine whether the derailment of the Coromandel Express was a result of negligence or sabotage.
According to sources, the initial investigation conducted by the railways revealed evidence of unauthorized manipulation of the interlocking system's logic in the cabin at Bahanaga Bazar station, which controls the signaling along the stretch.
The CBI's involvement will help ascertain the motive behind tampering with this supposedly foolproof system.
Railway officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, stated that their preliminary probe had uncovered clear indications of tampering with the electronic interlocking system. They emphasized that the CBI's involvement, as a professional agency, would help identify the individuals responsible and shed light on their motives.
A senior official at Rail Bhawan reiterated Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw's statement that the interlocking system is a highly secure signaling method. The system is designed to be fail-safe, meaning that if it malfunctions, all signals turn red, bringing all trains to a halt.
The official further explained that unless there was deliberate interference with the system, it would not be possible for a train's designated route to be switched to a different line. The investigation needs to explore this particular aspect, as well as other angles related to the incident.
Sources also emphasized that the electronic interlocking system used by the railways has been awarded the Seal 4 certification, denoting the highest level of safety.
When asked about the Railway Board's decision to recommend a CBI probe, an official stated that it was deemed a crucial investigation due to the significant information uncovered during their preliminary inquiry. The available information warranted a professional investigation, leading to the recommendation for CBI involvement.
However, the official did not respond to a question regarding the openness of the relay room where the signaling system is housed in this case. Several railway experts have pointed out that once a train route is set and locked, it cannot be changed until the train completes its journey on the designated route.
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