Balasore: The first high-speed passenger train – Howrah-Puri Vande Bharat Express – after the triple train crash, passed through Balasore Monday morning on restored tracks as the Commissioner of Railwy Safety began its inquiry into the June 2 accident in which at least 275 people were killed, officials said.
Vande Bharat Express crossed the Bahanaga Bazar Station around 9.30am Monday, they said adding that the tracks are now fit to operate trains in both the up and down lines.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw was present at the accident site and waved to the drivers when the semi-high-speed train passed through. Officials said.
Two other passenger trains like Howrah-Puri Express and Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Sampark Kranti Express also passed through the up and down line respectively early Monday.
The restoration work of both the up line and down line tracks was completed Sunday night, Vaishnaw said.
Meanwhile, Commissioner of Railway Safety(SE Circle) Shailesh Kumar Pathak launched the inquiry and visited the accident site at Bahanaga Station Bazar Station.
He also inspected the control room, signal room spoke to the station manager and also saw the interlinking system which reportedly led the Coromandel Express to enter the loop line leading to a devastating crash on June 2.
“We have just started the inquiry. It will take time. The exact cause of the accident will be ascertained after the inquiry is over,” Pathak told reporters at the accident site.
A coal-laden goods train from Vizag port to Rourkela Steel Plant ran on the track at around 10.40 pm on Sunday night. The goods train ran on the same track.
Trains are passing through the accident site at a slow speed.
The Coromandel Express crashed into a stationary goods train, derailing most of its coaches at 7 pm on June 2.
A few coaches of Coromandel toppled over the last few coaches of the Bengaluru-Howrah Express which was passing by at the same time.
Investigators are looking into possible human error, signal failure and other possible causes behind the three-train crash.