The accident happened on Friday evening at 7 pm local time (3:30 pm Belgian time) near Balasore city in the state of Odisha, about 200 km from Bhubaneswar. This included two passenger trains and one goods train. Several coaches of a passenger train, the Coromandel Express, derailed after colliding with a goods train. The trains would terminate on a separate track. Another train would then collide with those coaches and partially derail itself.
On Saturday, at least 288 people were reported killed and more than 900 injured, but the death toll has now been slightly revised. According to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, there are currently 275 confirmed deaths and some victims were double-counted before Saturday’s figures. Vaishnav said bodies were still being recovered and the final death toll would definitely be more than 275.
Preliminary investigation would reveal that the accident was caused by an error in electronic signalling. One of the trains was believed to have been signaled to run on the main track, but that signal was later removed, causing the train to go onto the loop line and collide with a stationary freight train. “Those responsible have been identified, but will not be made public until the full investigation is complete.”