Deadly India rail crash caused by faulty signal connections made during repair

Bhubaneswar July 4 (Una): Workers repairing a barrier on a railway in India made faulty connections in the network’s automated signaling system, leading to the country’s worst railway disaster in two decades, an official investigation has found.

The crash at the Bahanaga Bazar station, in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, on June 2 killed 288 people and injured more than 1,000.

The disaster occurred when a passenger train collided with a stationary freight train, jumped off the tracks, and collided with another passenger train coming from the opposite direction.

In the investigative report, seen by Reuters, RSC investigators said the first collision occurred due to modifications made to the signaling circuit to fix recurring problems at a nearby railroad barrier.

It said local railway employees did not have a standard circuit diagram which led to a faulty connection in the signaling system when they tried to disconnect the boom barrier circuit from work to fix it. It added that the malfunctioning system directed the passenger train into the path of the freight train.


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