In a major development in the investigation into the train accident at Bahanaga in Balasore of Odisha, the CBI today reportedly arrested 3 persons.

The agency arrested Senior Section Engineer (signal) Arun Kumar Mahanta, Section Engineer Mohammed Amir Khan and Technician Pappu Kumar, all posted in Balasore district, the officials said.

The three have been arrested under IPC sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 201 (destruction of evidence), they said.

The accused were at the CBI office in Bhubaneswar following which they were taken to hospital for a medical check-up. The accused were taken to the Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar by the CBI officials. After the medical check-up, they were later taken to the Special CBI Court.

According to sources, the CBI officials sought seven days of remand while producing the accused before the court. Later in the evening, the Special Court in Bhubaneswar granted five days of remand to CBI.

The accident took place near the Bahanaga Bazar station in the Balasore district of Odisha in which 293 people were killed — 287 on the spot or brought dead to hospital while six succumbed to injuries in hospitals.

The accident involved three trains: the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express, Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and a stationary goods train.

Earlier this week, the inquiry report of the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), South Eastern Circle stated that the deadly train mishap at Bahanaga station in Odisha’s Balasore had occurred due to lapses in the signaling-circuit-alteration carried out at the North Signal Goomty (of the station) in the past.

“Having carefully considered all the records submitted, observations made during the site inspection, analysis of the events logged in the data-logger records, and evidences/information received in the inquiry proceedings, I have come to the conclusion that the accident of Train No.12841 (Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express), the Goods Train No. N/DDIP and Train No. 12864 (SMVT-Bengaluru-Howrah Express) at Bahanaga Bazar station on 02.06.2023 at about 18:56 hrs in Kharagpur-Ranital section of Kharagpur division in South Eastern Railway, was a case of the rear-collision of Train No. 12841 with the Goods train (N/DDIP) standing on the Up loop line (common loop) of the Station,” the CRS said in its report.

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