Five persons, including a retired Junior Engineer of the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, were run over by a speeding train as they, in two bikes, tried to cross an unmanned level crossing near Nanguneri station around noon on Wednesday.
They were identified as N. Gnana Rajendran (59), the retired engineer from Kolathur in Chennai; M. Esakkimuthu (50) of Devanallur near Kalakkad; B. Rajamanickam (57); V. Ganapathi (50) and E. Venkatachalam (43), all from Valliyoor.
As the victims were returning home on two bikes after attending a funeral at Srirenganathapuram near Nanguneri on the Tirunelveli – Nagercoil National Highway, they tried to cross the unmanned level crossing near Nedunkulam at 12.30 p.m. without noticing the approaching goods train carrying diesel tankers from Ernakulam to Tirunelveli.
Even before they could cross the railway track, located about 24 km from Palayamkottai, the train hit the bikes violently in which all the five were killed on the spot.
While one of the two bikes was thrown into the bushes near the spot at which the train hit the two-wheelers, the second vehicle was dragged for about one km, along with one of the victims.
Construction labourers working near the accident spot said the mishap was a result of a life-threatening blunder committed by the bike riders.
“Though the engine driver sounded the horn continuously, the bike riders dared to cross the level crossing which led to the gruesome killing of the five,” they said.
Fire and Rescue Service personnel from Nanguneri removed the mutilated bodies from the spot.
A railway technical team from Nagercoil inspected the track to check if it had suffered any damage due to the mishap.
The goods train, which suffered a detention of nearly an hour, left for Tirunelveli Junction around 1.30 p.m.