Eighteen persons including nine rail passengers injured
COIMBATORE: Two persons were killed and 18 injured when a truck steered away from the road and entered the railway track, hitting the speeding Coimbatore–Mangalore passenger near the Eachanari level crossing around 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday.
The truck with nine head load workers on board was on its way from Ukkadam to Udumalpet. As the truck approached the level crossing, driver Kader Mohideen (27) lost control over the vehicle.
The truck hit a pedestrian Anandakumar (48) of Ganesapuram of the same area, throwing him at the speeding train.
Then the truck hit the sixth coach of the train. Anandakumar and Kader Mohideen were killed on the spot.
The train came to a halt after travelling nearly a km. Nine passengers seated near the window of the train were injured including Lakshmi (20) of Sulur, Kanchana Vargheese (37) and Roopan (7) of Cannanore, Natarajamurthy (61) of Tirupur, Benny (41) and Nishad Thomas (42) of Karamadai, Unnikumar (47) and Murugan (23) of Palakkad.
All of them have been admitted to a private hospital at Sundarapuram. The condition of Lakshmi is serious.
The nine head load workers also sustained injuries and have been admitted to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital.
The damaged coach was removed at the Madukkarai railway station and the train left for Mangalore after a delay of more than an hour.
Divisional Railway Managers S. Mohan (Salem) and Y.P. Singh (Palakkad), City Police Commissioner K.C. Mahali, Deputy Commissioners of Police S. Rajendran (Law and Order) and K. Thondiraj (Crime and Traffic), District Revenue Officer S. Prabhakaran, Revenue Divisional Officer (Coimbatore), M. Balachandran visited the spot and arranged for the rescue and relief measures.
Deputy Director of Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services R. Balusamy (Western Region) mobilised fire and rescue services personnel and fire tenders. He, along with his driver, disconnected the battery circuit in the truck to prevent the truck from going up in flames and made sure that the diesel tank was intact.
Commissioner of Railway Safety K.J.S. Naidu will hold a statutory inquiry into the accident.
An official release said the inquiry would be held at retiring room number 1 of the Coimbatore junction at 3 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.
Members of public who wish to give evidence could do so or write to the Commissioner of Railway Safety, Southern Circle, Bangalore, or fax the message to 080-22260650, the release added.