She was crossing the tracks at station on her way home; 100 killed this year in similar fashion

A 46-year-old government nurse died on the spot after she was hit by an electric train while she was crossing the track near Pallavaram railway station on Monday evening. She was on her way home, just a few paces from the railway station and was crossing the track when the accident took place.

A. Palaniammal was a Senior Staff Nurse at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai and had recently enrolled as a first year student of M.Sc Nursing at Madras Medical College. Living in a rented room on the first floor of a house on Thiru Vi Ka Street, she reached Pallavaram railway station around 6 p.m. on Monday. She walked along the railway track and was on her way home when the accident took place, around 6 p.m. on Monday. A suburban electric train from Tambaram to Chennai Beach that was approaching Pallavaram railway station hit her, killing her instantly.

It is still not clear if the victim was speaking on the cellphone while crossing the railway track, according to personnel of Government Railway Police, Tambaram. A policeman who reached the spot called the last dialled number from Palaniammal's cell phone and it reached her brother-in-law, who in turn informed her close relatives.

The body was shifted to Tambaram Taluk Government Hospital in Chromepet and handed over to her husband, Pichai, working in a private company, after post-mortem on Tuesday. Southern Railway has placed steel barricades at the dead end of Thiru Vi Ka Street in a bid to prevent people from crossing the track to reach the railway station. But many people manage to squeeze through the narrow gaps between the iron beams and walk along the tracks as it is a shorter way to reach the station. About 100 people have died while crossing the tracks so far this year.

According to A.Marimuthu, her elder brother, the family hailed from Coonoor in Nilgiris District. “She was very much interested I academics. She fought against all odds, completed plus two and graduated in nursing,” he recalled. She was living in Chennai for more than 10 years after having served in government hospitals in Tirunelveli and Tiruchi among other places.

Her daughter Shaminee is a third year student at the Salem Medical College Hospital, while her son has completed first year BDS at a private college in the city, Mr. Marimuthu said. Ramesh Kumar, the victim's nephew said Palaniammal was very sincere in her work and took good care of the family as well. “She is one of a kind person hailing from our native place. She would encourage and help, even financially, anyone who would approach her seeking support for higher studies,” he added.

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