A special court in Odisha on Friday sent three railway officials accused in connection with the Balasore train accident to judicial custody, PTI reported.

The three accused persons – senior section engineer Arun Kumar Mahanta, section engineer Mohammad Amir Khan and technician Pappu Kumar – were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on July 7.

On that day, the special court had granted five-day remand of the accused to the central agency. On July 11, the court had extended the remand period for four more days at the request of the investigating agency.

The court will next hear the matter on July 27.

The three accused have been booked under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code and under Section 153 of the Railways Act, which deals with endangering the safety of rail travellers.

On Wednesday, the Railways had also suspended seven employees, including Kumar, Khan, and Mahanta. Among those suspended are the station master on duty on the day of the accident, the traffic inspector at Balasore, the signal technician, and the assistant divisional signal and telecom engineer.

One of India’s deadliest rail crashes occurred in Balasore on June 2 when two coaches of the Yesvantpur-Howrah Express derailed near the Bahanaga Road railway station. The derailed coaches came in the path of the speeding Coromandel Express on the adjoining track and collided with it. A goods train was also hit in the process. At least 293 persons died and over 900 were injured.

The Railways had said that the train accident occurred due to faulty signalling and botched repair works.