The National Investigation Agency is taking over the inquiry into the recent train derailments that claimed scores of lives, even as Indian Railways staff managed to circumvent yet another tragedy on the Madgaon-Dadar Janshatabdi’s route on Tuesday, Mint reported. The driver had spotted a 380-kg iron pillar lying across the tracks and stopped the locomotive carrying 650 passengers in the nick of time.

The incident may strengthen investigative agencies’ claims of sabotage. NIA officials have been deployed to the site to look into the case. “NIA teams from Delhi and Hyderabad reached the accident spot to probe the matter. We are investigating the involvement of outside elements that may have been responsible for executing the derailment plan,” the agency’s spokesperson told Mint.

While investigators are trying to ascertain whether there is a possible terror link, police and NIA officials are also looking into the involvement of Naxals, particularly because the Odisha-Andhra border – where the Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express derailed on January 22 – is their stronghold.

The NIA is also investigating the Indore-Patna Express derailment, Jagdalpur-Bhubaneshwar Hirakhand Express tragedy and the failed Ghorasahan derailment attempt. Along with other investigative agencies, the NIA is also looking into a possible role of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence in the Patna-Indore Express derailment, which claimed at least 145 lives.