One passenger was killed and 33 others, including six women and two children, were injured when 12 bogies of Muzaffarpur-Yesvantpur Express (no.15228) derailed at the Chitheri railway station, eight km from here on Wednesday morning.
The train, which left Muzaffarpur in Bihar on Monday reached Chennai early on Wednesday morning. Leaving Chennai Central at about 4.15 a.m., the train met with the accident at about 5.30 a.m., resulting in one coach falling to its left and six bogies jumping the rails.
The derailment resulted in about eight coaches getting detached from the train.
The derailed bogies included one A/C 2-tier coach, three A/C 3-tier coaches and a pantry car.
Immediately after the accident, local villagers swung into action and rescued the passengers by breaking open the glass windows.
Within an hour, a team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) stationed at Arakkonam, along with the Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel removed the body of the deceased and rescued the injured and stranded passengers.
Injured transported to hospital
Vellore Collector P. Sankar with the Superintendent of Police I. Eswaran reached the spot within an hour and made arrangements for transporting the injured passengers to hospitals.
The injured were transported in eight ambulances to the Government Hospital, Arakkonam, Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, Chennai, and the Government Vellore Medical College Hospital, Adukkamparai.
The stranded passengers of derailed coaches as well as of other coaches were taken in 11 buses to the Katpadi railway station, from where they left for their destinations.
At the Katpadi railway station, on the instructions of the Collector, revenue officials, students, volunteers of the Indian Red Cross Society, Youth Red Cross and Junior Red Cross and the Rotary Clubs made arrangements for providing snacks and drinking water to the stranded passengers.
Railway engineers and workers, under the supervision of Rakesh Misra, General Manager, Southern Railway, and P.K. Mishra, Divisional Railway Manager, carried out the task of clearing the line for operation of trains, since parts of derailed bogies had fallen on the up line. An accident relief van was at the spot to aid restoration work.
Following the derailment, the Southern Railway cancelled eight trains, diverted four trains and partially cancelled five services.
The fully cancelled trains are Train No.12675/12676 Chennai Central – Coimbatore - Chennai Central Kovai Expresses; Train No.12639/12640 Chennai Central – Bangalore - Chennai Central Brindavan Expresses; Train No.12243/12244 Chennai Central – Coimbatore - Chennai Central Duronto Expresses; Train No.16627 Chennai Central – Mangalore West Coast Express; Train No.12609 Chennai Central – Bangalore Express; Train No.12679 Chennai Central – Coimbatore Intercity Express; Train No.12695 Chennai Central – Thiruvananthapuram Express and Train No.12607 Chennai Central – Bangalore Lalbagh Express.
The partially cancelled services are Train No.12608 Bangalore – Chennai Central Lalbaugh express (between Katpadi and Chennai Central), Train No.12680 Coimbatore – Chennai Central Intercity Express (between Salem and Chennai Central) and Train No.16086 Jolarpettai – Arakkonam express (between Walajjah Road and Arakkonnam).
Also cancelled partially are the Train No.16628 Mangalore – Chennai Central Westcoast express (between Jolarpettai and Chennai Central) and Train No.12610 Bangalore – Chennai Central express (between Wallajah Road and Chennai Central).
Southern Railway has also diverted via Renigunta and Pakala the Train No.12510 Guwahati – Bangalore, Train No.22601 Chennai Central – Sainagar Shirdi Express and Train No.22604 Villupuram – Kharagpur express, the Train No.22619 Bilaspur – Tirunelveli, Train No.12245 Howrah –Yeswantpur Duronto Express and Train No.12507 Ernakulam – Guwahati Express via Katpadi, and Train No.12296 Patna – Bangalore express via Gudur.
Two trains - No. 12028 Bangalore-Chennai Shatabdi and No. 16090 Tirupattur-Chennai Central-have been regulated at Katpadi, Train No.22206 Madurai – Chennai Central express regulated at Mahendravadi, Train No.12686 Mangalore – Chennai Central express regulated at Wallajah Road and Train No.12696 Thiruvananthapuram Central – Chennai Central express regulated at Gudiyattam.
Meanwhile, sources said that though the track carrying the Muzaffarpur-Yesvantpur express was damaged, the second line barely a few metres away, was more or less intact. "Usually, when so many coaches derail, there is extensive damage to the adjacent line too. Here, we could pass the first train through at around 9.50 a.m. within barely four hours of the mishap," an official said.
While the Railways restored upline services through diversions and regulations by noon, the damaged tracks are likely to be repaired only by Thursday morning, an official said.
Our Bangalore correspondent adds:
Train Nos. 12296 Patna-Bangalore City Express, 12510 Guwahati-Yeshwanthpur Express and 12245 Howrah-Yeshwanthpur Express are diverted via Renigunta, Katpadi and Pakkala, said a release from South Western Railway. Train No. 22601 Chennai-Yeshwanthpur-Shri Sai Nagar Shirdi Express is diverted via Renigunta and Arakkonam.
The helpline numbers in Bangalore are (080) 22876288, 22203269, 22876410 and 22156190 and the mobile number is 8861309572.
In the wake of the incident, the rail traffic on Arakkonam junction has been affected, sources said.
A team of Railway officials from Chennai have reached the accident site and held preliminary enquiries on the cause of the mishap, railway sources said. In September 2011, 10 people were killed when a suburban train rammed a stationary passenger train at a point between Melpakkam and the Chitheri railway station near Arakkonam in Vellore district
Helpline (Tamil Nadu): 9244919572, 044-25357398, 044-25330823.
The following is the list of those injured.
Most of the passengers who sustained injuries Train No. 15228 Muzaffarpur-Yesvantpur Express near Arakkonam on Wednesday were from Bihar.
The seven persons with serious injuries are Dheeran (24/ Seethamari Village, Bihar), Mukesh (27/AN Reddy Complex, Bangalore), Ravikumar (21/Chatrajith Village Bihar), Swapnil (22/Bihar), Krishnakumar Sachiraj (54/Rajhatta Kakihar, Bihar), Sasashi (45/unknown location) and Kanchanadevi (26/Samastipur, Bihar).
Those who escaped with simple injuries are S. Ravishankar (53/Vizag), Pavan Kumar (27/Bagusarai, Bihar), Beena Devi (29/Marujer, Bihar), Pooja (25/JC Nagar, Bangalore), Lalith Kumar Chowdhry (38/Chandpur Post, Bihar), Sudheer (39/Gudur), Sita Ram Chowdry (68/Nandini Layout, Bangalore), Siddiah (56/Tumkur, Karnataka), Vijayakumar Sahani (30/Kahatiya district, Bihar), Sathishkumar (9/Samadpur, Bihar), Praveen Kumar (24/Samadpur, Bihar), Dilip Bagadi (29/Burdwan, West Bengal), Yogendra Sahini (29/Begusarai, Bihar), Munna Rabidass (60/Assam), Naresh Singh (35/Dhaka P.O., Bihar), Renu Varma (65/Mithumra, Bihar), Meenakshi Rasthogi (24/Bounsi, Bihar), Ramesh Kumar (33/Nandi Layout Bangalore), Sabiralam (34/Barari, Bihar), Soman Kumar (24/Bihar), Mahadev Ghosh (45/Howrah), Mukesh Prajapathi (27/Bangalore) and Amith Kumar (32/Bangalore).