Odisha Triple Train Disaster: Error in electronic signals system appears to be the cause says Railway Minister.

Odisha Triple Train Disaster: Error in electronic signals system appears to be the cause says Railway Minister.

The root cause of the Odisha triple train disaster that killed 288 people has been identified and was due to an error in the electronic interlocking of the signals, India's Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said. It was not immediately clear if the error was due to a technical glitch or human error in changing the setting of the electronic interlocking system.

"The commissioner of railway safety has investigated the matter and let the investigation report come. But we have identified the cause of the incident and the people responsible for it... It happened due to a change in electronic interlocking," he told reporters at the scene of the crash.

The Indian railway system uses a sophisticated interlocking system as an integral aspect of its railway signaling and track movement system, which is controlled by IT software that can be changed by authorized persons when necessary.

More than 900 people were also injured in the horrific crash involving three trains, including two passenger express trains, in the Indian state of Odisha on Friday night. It was one of the worst train disasters in India which has the world's largest railway network.

The Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express passenger train bound for Chennai from Kolkata had veered on to a side track near Bahanaga Bazar station, and crashed into a stationary goods train, with several passenger coaches coming to rest on a third track. The Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express passenger train, on its way to Howrah from Bengaluru (Bangalore), then slammed into the carriages of the Coromandel Express at approximately 7:20 p.m, with some coaches flying into the air and ending up as heaps of twisted metal.

Rescue workers toiled through the night and throughout Saturday amid the wreckage to find survivors and more than 200 ambulances and a number of buses ferried the injured to hospitals. The government rushed hundreds of rescue workers and 120 doctors to the area. The Indian Air Force deployed helicopters to ferry the injured and dead to hospitals. The two passenger trains were carrying over 3,500 passengers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the crash site on Saturday afternoon and vowed to punish those responsible for the disaster.