At least 40 on Coromandel Express may have died due to electrocution

BHUBANESWAR: At least 40 bodies retrieved from the derailed bogies of the Coromandel Express rake involved in the three-train crash in Odisha’s Balasore may have been electrocuted by snapped overhead cables as they didn’t have any external injury, a police officer who oversaw the rescue operation said on Monday.
His statement echoes the FIR that mentions electrocution as the cause of many deaths after live overhead cables fell on the compartments. “Many passengers succumbed to injuries caused due to the collision and electrocution (after) coming in contact with overhead LT (low tension) line,” states the FIR lodged by Government Railway Police (GRP) sub-inspector Papu Kumar Naik around 1am Saturday.


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The cables apparently snapped after the Yeshwantpur (Bengaluru)-Howrah Express crashed into the derailed bogies of the Coromandel Express at 6.55pm Friday. The Chennai-bound train had gone off track and rear-ended a stationary freight train.
“While several bodies were disfigured beyond recognition, there were around 40 with no visible injury marks or bleeding from anywhere. Many of these deaths were presumably from electrocution,” the police officer said.
Purna Chandra Mishra, who retired as chief operations manager of East Coast Railway, said it was possible that those electrocuted were in contact with some part of the bogies in that exact fraction of a second when the overhead electric cables touched the train.
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The GRP had registered a case of death due to negligence (Section 304-A of the IPC) against “unidentified individuals” and appointed a DSP-ranked officer to lead the investigation into the train tragedy before CBI was called in. Ranjeet Nayak, sub-divisional railway police officer of Cuttack, was entrusted with the probe on the basis of the complaint lodged around six hours after the accident.
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“At present, culpability of specific railway employees has not been ascertained,” the FIR states.
Sources said the MHA had informed the state government that a CBI team, led by a joint director, would visit Odisha by Tuesday to formally take over the probe.
The commissioner of railway safety visited the accident site before starting a public hearing in Kharagpur, West Bengal.

The Open Magazine of India by Artmotion Network (

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