Causing death by negligence is one of the charges included in the first information report registered on Monday in connection to the train accident in Balasore, reported ANI. The FIR filed by the Government Railway Police in Odisha names unidentified persons as the accused in the case.

In one of the worst train accidents in India, 278 passengers died and more than 900 were injured after three trains collided into each other on June 2.

Besides Section 304A (causing death by negligence), the FIR includes charges under Sections 37 and 38 (related to causing hurt and endangering lives through rash or negligent action) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 153 (unlawful and negligent action endangering lives of Railway passengers ), 154 and 175 (endangering lives) of the Railways Act against unknown persons.

“At present, the culpability of specific railway employees has not been ascertained, which will be unearthed during the investigation,” the FIR states, according to NDTV. The case was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by a Sub-Inspector Papu Kumar Naik.

On June 2, the Coromandel Express, which was travelling from Howrah to Chennai, collided with the goods train that was parked at the loop line near Odisha’s Balasore. The Coromandel Express had initially been given the green signal to enter the Up Main Line, but the signal was later taken off. Following this, the express train entered a loop line.

After this, two coaches of a third train, the Bengaluru-Howrah Express, which was headed towards Howrah also fell off the tracks after it came in contact with the derailed coaches of the Coromandel Express. A preliminary investigation by the Railways has suggested that a signalling error may have led to the accident.

Read | Odisha train accident: Railways got two warnings in 6 months on faulty signalling, poor track repair

On Monday, a 10-member team of the Central Bureau of Investigation visited the accident site and began its probe, reported PTI. A probe by the CBI was recommended by the Railway Board on Sunday. The move has been questioned by 12 political parties, including the Congress, which said that law enforcement agencies cannot fix accountability for technical, institutional and political failures.

A rescue worker inspects a damaged carriage at the accident site in Balasore. | AFP/PunitParanjpe

“The CBI is meant to investigate crimes, not railway accidents,” Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge had said. “...In addition, they lack the technical expertise in railway safety, signalling, and maintenance practices.”

The Opposition parties have demanded inquiry by a Special Investigation Team and the resignation of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

Railways orders countrywide safety drive

Meanwhile, the Railways has initiated a nationwide safety campaign aimed at enhancing the reliability of its signalling systems, The Indian Express reported.

Particular attention is being given to the established “double locking” mechanism employed in the control of signalling equipment at stations. Under this system, relay rooms and offices responsible for managing the signalling apparatus are secured using a two-step locking procedure. The combined efforts of the station master and the signalling staff are required to unlock these facilities.

This system ensures checks and balances in handling the crucial signalling apparatus at every critical point, in terms of safety and security, according to the newspaper.

“All goomties [railway crossings] housing signalling equipment with station limits should be checked and ensured being provided double locking arrangements,” a directive from the ministry said.