Three passengers have fatal fall off packed train, over 25 injured in melee

The day after a fire in signal cabins disrupted train services, lifeline of the island city, commuters faced another ordeal on Thursday when a freak incident killed three along the Central railway local line.

Three passengers fell off a packed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus-bound local train and lost their lives, while over 25 others were injured near a train signal between Nahur and Bhandup stations.

Railways deny negligence

Denying any negligence on their part, the Railway authorities suspected that one of the commuters was carrying an object which was protruding out of the train. “It may have hit the maintenance platform attached to a signal ladder, thereby causing the platform to dent. Most of the injured have got injuries around the elbow and arm,” a Central Railway press release stated.

“Overcrowding could have contributed to the situation. The three passengers were on the same train,” V.L. Malegaonkar, chief public relations officer, Central Railway, told the media. He said there was “no negligence by the Railways in this incident and none of the norms regarding the distance of fixed structures from the tracks has been violated.”

However, the Government Railway Police was in the process of registering a case of negligence against the Railways.

Ex-gratia

Railways Minister Mukul Roy extended his condolences to the bereaved families. The Ministry has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 2 lakh to the next of the kin of the three deceased passengers. Ex-gratia payments of Rs. 500 and Rs. 5,000 would be given for simple and serious injuries respectively. The Railways would also be bearing the medical expenses of the injured passengers.

Meanwhile, services on the Central line are getting back on track. Mr. Malegaonkar said up to 81 per cent of the services were started by 5 p.m. on Thursday. “By tomorrow afternoon, 100 per cent services should resume. Almost 75 per cent of simple signals are working,” he said.

However, commuters had to face delays of 25 to 30 minutes during peak time.