Loco Pilot ‘Watching Cricket On Phone’, Ashwini Vaishnaw On 2023 Train Accident Involving Rayagada Passenger

Bhubaneswar: Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has disclosed the reason behind the accident, involving Rayagada Passenger train and Visakhapatnam Palasa in Andhra Pradesh on October 29, 2023 in which 14 people were killed and over 500 injured.

The accident took place as the loco pilot and co-pilot of one of the trains were watching a cricket match on phone, he said while talking about new safety measures that Indian Railways has been working on. “Now we are installing systems which can detect any such distraction and make sure that the pilots and the assistant pilots are fully focussed on running the train,” Vaishnaw told PTI.

The accident occurred on the Howrah-Chennai line in Kantakapalli, Vizianagaram district, Andhra Pradesh, when Rayagada Passenger train rammed into the Visakhapatnam Palasa train from behind at 7 pm.

According to reports, a preliminary railway probe, a day after the accident, had held the driver and the assistant driver of Rayagada Passenger train responsible for the collision as it passed two defective auto signals.

According to the railway norm, the train should have stopped for two minutes at the defective auto signals and then started at 10 kmph which it didn’t do, leading to the collision.

Both the crew members were killed in the accident.

The probe report of Commissioners of Railway Safety (CRS), however, is yet to be made public.

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