The CBI has taken over the investigation into the Balasore train accident which claimed 278 lives, after registering an FIR, officials said on Tuesday.
The central probe agency was roped in after a preliminary inquiry flagged tampering with the electronic interlocking system, which detects the presence of trains, and officials suspected "sabotage" behind the Friday accident.
The agency, which has little expertise in dealing with the functioning of railways, might need the help of rail security and forensic experts to get to the bottom of the case, the officials said.
Following the procedure, the central agency took over the FIR registered by the Balasore GRP on June 3 under IPC sections 337, 338, 304A (causing death by negligence) and 34 (common intention), and sections 153 (unlawful and negligent action endangering lives of Railway passengers ), 154 and 175 (endangering lives) of the Railways Act.
According to the procedure, the CBI re-registers the local police case as its own FIR and starts the probe. It can add or remove a charge from the FIR in its charge sheet filed after its investigation.
Talking to reporters in Odisha on Sunday, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said, "We have recommended a CBI probe into the triple train accident...." The crash involving Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express and a goods train occurred around 7 PM on Friday near the Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore district.
The accident, one of the worst train tragedies in the country, claimed 278 lives and left more than 1,100 people injured.
Both passenger trains were at high speed, and experts have cited it as one of the main reasons for the high number of casualties.
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