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Train accident in Tamil Nadu

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Map locator for train accident on Sep 13, 2011

Chennai Helpline numbers: 044-25357398, 044- 25347771, 044-25330710

September 13, 2011

The Hindu reports:

At least 15 passengers were feared dead and over 70 injured after the Chennai Beach-Vellore Cantonment Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (MEMU) train proceeding towards Vellore rammed into the stationary Arakkonam-Katpadi Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) passenger train at a point between Melpakkam and Chitheri stations near Arakkonam on Tuesday night.

Map locator for train crash on Sep 12, 2011

According to preliminary reports, the Arakkonam-Katpadi EMU train was waiting for the signal when it was hit by the Vellore-bound train. Five bogies of the stationary train and three bogies of the moving train derailed after the accident. Police sources in Arakkonam said that several injured passengers have been admitted to the Government Hospital in Arakkonam while some have been referred to the Government Vellore Medical College Hospital. Ambulances from in and around Arakkonam have been pressed into service to take the injured to the hospital. Police and railway officials have rushed to the spot to undertake rescue and relief operations.

Daily Bhaskar adds:

A 70-member National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has reached the accident spot but rains are hampering the rescue operations. Railways has also rushed a rescue team to the accident spot.

September 14, 2011
A man holds a child as he grieves while waiting to receive the body of his family member who died in the collision.

The Hindu updates its report:

At least nine people were killed and over 100 injured when two trains collided near Chennai on Tuesday evening. The accident happened near Arakkonam when Chennai Beach-Vellore Cantonment train rammed the stationary Arakkonam-Katpadi passenger train at about 9:30 pm.

Five bodies were recovered from the spot while two persons died at the Government Hospital. Trains on the Arakkonam-Katpadi section were cancelled or diverted. “There was a delay in relief reaching the accident spot due to inclement weather. The condition of the some injured passengers is said to be critical,” a police official added.

Ambulances from in and around Arakkonam have been pressed into service.

Southern Railway General Manager Deepak Krishan who accompanied senior officials to the spot said an Accident Relief Vehicle had left for Chitheri. “It is difficult to ascertain the circumstances that led to the accident. We are just rushing to the spot…there are some casualties,” he told The Hindu.

Director-General of Police K. Ramanujam said adequate manpower, including a company of the Tamil Nadu Special Police, was sent to Chitheri to assist in the rescue operations. “It is very dark there and a couple of coaches have capsized. Efforts are on to see if there are any victims trapped beneath the damaged compartments,” he said.

The day’s final update from the Hindu was:

One more passenger died of injuries in the Chitheri train collision, raising the toll to 10, the Government General Hospital in Arakkonam confirms. Over 60 passengers were injured when a speeding Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (MEMU) train rammed into a stationary Arakkonam–Vellore passenger waiting for a signal at the Chitheri post, at 9:25 p.m. on Tuesday.

The engine car of the MEMU was crushed, and two coaches of the passenger turned turtle. In all, five coaches of the passenger train and three of the MEMU were damaged in the crash. Overhead electrical lines, cement sleepers and a section of the track were ripped out when the trains collided.

The driver of the MEMU, who leaped out of the engine car moments before the crash, has been admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai. His condition is said to be critical.

Southern Railway General Manager Deepak Krishan said the MEMU driver had apparently ignored the signal and speed restrictions.

The Arakkonam-Katpadi passenger was waiting for the signal. Being an automatic signalling territory, trains move one after another in this section, he said.

“Normally the previous signal would be danger (red). But apparently the MEMU train driver has not adhered to the signal,” he said.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

September 13, 2011 at 6:28 pm

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