How suburban train hit Mumbai station

How suburban train hit Mumbai station

The impact of the accident was such that the first coach — which is meant for women commuters — jumped the tracks and hurtled mid-air.



by

Nithin Belle

Published: Mon 29 Jun 2015, 9:21 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:59 PM

How suburban train hit Mumbai station

PTI photo

Mumbai — Railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday ordered a probe into the accident involving a suburban train that sped into Churchgate station on Sunday morning and rammed into the buffers, sending the first coach flying into the air. Five persons were injured in the accident.

Railway officials have been interrogating L.S. Tiwari, the motorman and Ajay Gohil, the guard. Both have been suspended, along with a loco inspector. Sources said Tiwari did not appear to have been under the influence of alcohol, when the train entered Churchgate station — the last station on its journey — at a speed of about 30 kmph, on Sunday morning.

But the impact of the accident was such that the first coach — which is meant for women commuters — jumped the tracks and hurtled mid-air. Though scores of railway personnel were on the job of pulling out the rake and repairing the damaged tracks, it took Western Railway more than 24 hours to set things right.

Churchgate station, from where most suburban trains begin their northward journey to places such as Andheri, Borivili and Virar, is one of the busiest stations in the country.

Fortunately, the accident happened on a Sunday morning when not many commuters were in the train. Had it happened on a working day, the fatalities would have been huge.

Motormen (who operate the train from the front) and guards (who are at the rear end of the rake and help the motormen) in Mumbai’s suburban trains have a tough life. Every day, about 10 people get crushed under the trains, while crossing tracks or falling off over-crowded trains. It is their job to halt a train and help the victims.

In informal interactions, motormen and guards have confessed of the horrors of daily accidents and of the nightmarish experience of extricating bodies from under the tracks. In many stretches along both the Western and Central railway corridors, they have to slow down the trains as slum-dwellers squat on the tracks, vendors sell their wares and children keep playing unmindful of the approaching trains.

And when the services get disrupted because of heavy rains or technical failures, often commuters attack motormen and guards, blaming them for the delays.

nithin@khaleejtimes.com


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