At least nine cars of a freight train running on the East Coast Railway’s Angol Talcher Road derailed in the early hours of Tuesday and fell into a river, officials said.
They said the wagons carrying wheat fell into the river around 2.30am, but the pilot and other staff were reported to be safe as the engine remained on track.
Officials said it was possible that heavy rain following a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal caused the accident on a bridge over the Nandira River as the cargo train was on its way from Firouzpur to Khurda Road.
Talcher recorded 394 mm of rain in the past two days.
They added that in the aftermath of the accident, the European Meteorological Center canceled 12 trains, diverted tracks for another eight, and canceled another short-haul route.
Accident relief trains have been moved from Sambalpur and Khurda Road to the site, where senior officials are reviewing the restoration work.
“At first glance, the cause of the lane deviation appears to be … a sudden flood. The retaining walls were damaged on both sides, and the lanes drifting was also observed when approaching the bridge from the Angol side,” an ECoR official said.
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