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Updated: January 7, 2012 04:00 IST

Four injured as landing on foot overbridge gives way

Special Correspondent
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RPF personnel at the spot where the slabs collapsed on Friday. Photo : R. Ravindran
RPF personnel at the spot where the slabs collapsed on Friday. Photo : R. Ravindran

As many as 20,000 people use the facility, which was last inspected in July

A row of concrete slabs on a landing, which connects two flights of stairs leading to the foot overbridge (FOB) of the Nungambakkam railway station, collapsed around 10 a.m. on Friday, injuring four persons.

The incident came as a shock to the regular users of the station, which is used by nearly 20,000 people every day. The revenue from ticket sales at the station is around Rs. 93,000 a day. The FOB was last inspected in July 2011.

The four slabs, covering a total length of 2.4 metres and width of 1.8 metre, collapsed simultaneously, from a height of over 3 metres. The slabs were part of a larger landing floor. The slabs that fell were at the Loyola College side of the FOB. The passengers fell into the vacant area right beneath the landing.

Divisional Railway Manager S. Anantharaman said corrosion of the metal angles welded onto the beams on the sides, which held the landing, must have weakened the unit.

Last year, no visual indication of corrosion was reported. “The FOBs are supposed to be inspected once in five years, and since this is first incident of this kind we are planning to increase the frequency of the inspections. A team has now been deputed to lift the slabs on all the structures and check the girders for corrosion. Within a week, we will get a complete picture of all the structures,” Mr. Anantharaman said.

However, the shortcomings in the inspection proved costly. Two of the injured persons, M. Yuvaraj and S. Naseer, with fractures, were rushed to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. They were later shifted to the Railway Hospital in Perambur. Mohan, another injured, was initially taken to a private hospital. Later in the evening, he was also shifted to the Railway Hospital. The fourth person, Murali Rao, who suffered bruises, proceeded to Bangalore in the evening, according to RPF sources.

“It has been several hours since the incident took place and we have not received any information on compensation or ex gratia until now,” Mr. Yuvaraj said from his hospital bed at 9.30 p.m.

The railway authorities aren't even compensating victims for this incident and have clearly stated that they ONLY cover/compensate victims for incidents that happen on the railway tracks. Most of these victims had to spend over 70k to fix themselves for a mishap they weren't even responsible for... don't get me wrong...I am patriotic to the core... but its incidents like these that make me realize why more and more people from my generation are choosing to live life abroad ...

from:  devjani
Posted on: Jan 16, 2012 at 06:19 IST

The Egmore foot over bridge is also in a similar condition The Commissioner of Railway safety should inspect all these foot over bridges immediately. When there was an accident involving an electric train hitting the platform at Sanatorium some time back the Railway simply closed the matter without ordering the Commissioner of Railway safety enquiry as laid out in the Indian Railway Act

from:  Raam
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 15:01 IST

The scourge of corruption? - probably so. It would have been more funnier to read: people falling from Indira Gandhi Bridge have been rushed to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. Sorry to express darker humor but at this moment when parliament has failed us on corruption issue, i can not stop expressing it.

from:  Hitesh
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 10:58 IST

This is serious... the agency should be fined heavily. What has this country come to. corruption...corruption..corruption

from:  Nish Gurjara
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 10:11 IST

This incident should be independently assessed by a consulting engineer and safety consultants report should be published on railways website for public review and comment.Confidence in our railways can only be improved with greater transparency and following of appropriate process of applying the learnings from this minor disaster across the country.

from:  Mahmut Maha
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 08:13 IST

Our railways are attempting to ply Bullet trains at hurtling pace.God save the commuters.

from:  k.sugavanam
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 07:51 IST

Yesterday, we had reports about the ceiling slabs in Perungudi station falling off; in Kasturbhainagar station the maintenance is so poor that the whole station premises stinks.The ticket counters in and near the staircase are always closed.It is woeful!

from:  MSVenkataraman
Posted on: Jan 7, 2012 at 04:48 IST
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