A major train accident, involving the Yeswanthpur-Salem fast passenger train (No. 56242) carrying about 600 passengers, was averted on Tuesday, thanks to the alertness of two railway workmen in Dharmapuri-Salem section: S. Murugan, gangmate and M. Velu, trolleyman.
Anil Kumar Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager, South Western Railway (Bangalore Division), said that the two had completed their duties by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, when rain started pounding the area.
However, they started patrolling a section of track on foot in the heavy rain, to check the condition of various bridges in the Shivadi-Thoppur Ghat section.
They noticed water flowing above the track at Km. 44/100-000 at 8 p.m. and immediately ran towards Muttampatti Halt, which is about 2 km from the spot, and stopped the train at Muttampatti station. Later on, it was found that 20 m of rail track had been washed away there.
A.K. Mital, SWR General Manager, gave them a cash award of Rs. 5,000 each for their efforts. The breached track was restored at 3.15 a.m. on Wednesday, according to an SWR release, enabling operations on the track to resume.