Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Sunday waved at the crew of a goods train and prayed for a safe journey, as services resumed following repair of the damaged tracks on both the up and down lines, 51 hours after the horrific triple train accident in Balasore left 275 dead and more than 1,000 injured.
Speaking to ANI on Sunday, the Railways minister said work on reconstruction of the damaged tracks started soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent out instructions to that effect.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave his advice and instructions on the restoration of the railway tracks. The whole team (involved in the restoration work) laboured diligently and systematically to fix the damaged rails for the resumption of services," he said.
The Railways minister added both the lines were reconstucted and tested before services resumed, 51 hours after the chilling derailment incident.
"Services on both tracks have been restored. Nomal train services on both the lines have now been restored, 51 hours after the accident," said Ashwini Vaishnaw.
The triple train accident involved the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, the Coromandel Express and a goods train on three separate tracks at Bahanaga Bazar station in the Balasore district.
Earlier, on Sunday, Vaishnaw said the accident occurred due to a "change in electronic interlocking".
Electronic interlocking is an arrangement of signal apparatus that prevents conflicting movements between trains through an arrangement of tracks. It is basically a safety measure to prevent signals from being changed in improper sequence. The aim of this system is that no train gets the signal to proceed unless the route is proven safe.
Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, along with Vaishnaw and Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met the injured at Srirama Chandra Bhanja Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.
Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Secy Pradeep Jena clarified that the death toll from the horrific accident had been revised from 288 to 275, after it was dermined that some bodies had been counted twice.
"The death toll is 275, and not 288 as reported earlier. The toll was re-checked by the district magistrate (DM) and it was found that some bodies had been counted twice. Hence the toll was revised to 275, of which 88 bodies have been identified," Jena told ANI.
"Of the 1,175 injured, 793 were discharged after treatment," he added.
Over 1000 workers were pressed into service for restoration of the damaged tracks, the ministry stated, adding that more than 7 Poclain Machines, two Accident Relief Trains and 3-4 Railway and Road Cranes are deployed for the purpose as well. (ANI)