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Updated: June 12, 2010 23:59 IST

On guard, he averts a rail disaster

S. Vydhianathan
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SMART SAVIOUR: T. Rajasekaran, guard of the Salem-Chennai Egmore Express, who alerted the Perani station. Photo: A. Muralitharan
A. Muralitharan SMART SAVIOUR: T. Rajasekaran, guard of the Salem-Chennai Egmore Express, who alerted the Perani station. Photo: A. Muralitharan

Timely action after unusual sound saves Rockfort passengers

The presence of mind of the Salem-Chennai Egmore Express guard, T. Rajasekaran, saved the lives of hundreds of passengers of the Kumbakonam–Chennai Egmore Rockfort Express in the small hours of Saturday.

But for his quick and timely action in alerting the Perani station about an “unusual sound” he heard and a “heavy jerk” he experienced, there would have been a major catastrophe.

This happened when his train was approaching Perani, about 20 km from Villupuram, Mr. Rajasekaran said, talking to The Hindu on the phone. Immediately, the guard contacted the Perani station master on his walkie-talkie and asked him to alert the crew of the following Rockfort Expess as he felt that some thing was wrong with the track. It later turned out that the track had been blasted by suspected LTTE sympathisers. The Perani station master, in turn, alerted the Mundiyambakkam station master as well as control officials in Chennai.

Mr. Rajasekaran said the coordinated action by both station masters, the driver of the Rockfort Express and Chennai Division control officials saved the lives of the more than 1,000 passengers.

A resident of Chrompet here, Mr. Rajasekaran has put in 32 years of service.

Chennai Divisional Railway Manager Anurag told The Hindu that Mr. Rajasekaran and other officials who averted a disaster would be suitably rewarded. The reward has since been announced. The communication network of Southern Railway had come to their rescue. All train crew, station masters and the control office here were provided with walkie-talkie sets having the same frequency, the DRM said.

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