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Driver Was Watching Cricket on Phone: Railway Minister on Andhra Train Collision

The driver and assistant driver of one of the two passenger trains that crashed on October 29, 2023, killing 14 people, were watching a cricket match on their phones, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Saturday, stressing the reason of the train crash.

The Rayagada Passenger train hit the Visakhapatnam Palasa train from behind at 7 pm that day on the Howrah-Chennai line in Kantakapalli in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh. Over 50 passengers were injured.

Vaishnaw referred to the Andhra train accident while talking about new safety measures that Indian Railways has been working on.

“The recent case in Andhra Pradesh happened because both the loco pilot and co-pilot were distracted by the cricket match which was going on. Now we are installing systems which can detect any such distraction and make sure that the pilots and the assistant pilots are fully focussed on running the train,” Vaishnaw told PTI Videos.

He added, “We will continue to put our focus on safety. We try to find out the root cause of every incident and we come up with a solution so that it is not repeated.”

While the probe report conducted by the Commissioners of Railway Safety (CRS) is yet to be made public, a preliminary railway probe, a day after the accident, had held the driver and the assistant driver of Rayagada Passenger train responsible for the collision as it passed two defective auto signals violating norms. Both crew members were killed in the accident.

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