On 2nd June 2023, Train 12841 Coromandel Express collides with a Goods train in Odisha’s Balasore district near Bahanaga Bazar station when the Coromandel Express was on the way to Chennai Central. The collision resulted in derailing of more than 20 coaches. Train 12864 SMVT Bengaluru–Howrah SF Express was passing towards Howrah on the opposite line at the same time. Before it passes completely, the derailed coaches of the Coromandel Express bumped into the last few coaches of the SMVT Bengaluru-Howrah SF Express. Three trains were crashed in the incident. Over 1,100 were injured in the incident and more than 295 people have died.
Friday’s train crash was among the deadliest incident in the history of India’s railways. Though, India has one of the largest train networks but still lots of improvements are required in railway infrastructure.
Atul Karwal, chief of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said, “The force of the collision had left several coaches crushed and rescuers had to cut through the wreckage to reach the passengers. Hundreds of ambulances, doctors, nurses, and rescue personnel were sent to the scene and worked for 18 hours to rescue passengers and pull out bodies.”
Though the exact cause is not clear yet but as per Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw it would be a signal failure (“change in electronic interlocking”) that led to the accident. Here is the animated version of the incident presented on twitter:
Railway spokesperson Amitabh Sharma said, “It was the Coromandel Express that derailed first. The Bahanaga Bazar station had four tracks. Track 1 and 4 had goods trains parked on them. The passenger trains were running parallelly and simultaneously on track two and three. The coaches from the derailed train fell onto the two rear coaches of the Howrah Superfast and derailed it too. It’s a matter of investigation why and how the Coromandel Express got derailed and hit the goods trains,” he said.
People tweeted on the cause presented by the railway officials:
Celebrities and sportsperson tweeted for the cause: