A major train accident, involving the Yeswanthpur-Salem fast passenger train (No. 56242) carrying about 600 passengers, was averted on Tuesday, thanks to the alertness of two railway workmen in Dharmapuri-Salem section: S. Murugan, gangmate and M. Velu, trolleyman.

Anil Kumar Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager, South Western Railway (Bangalore Division), said that the two had completed their duties by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, when rain started pounding the area. However, they started patrolling a section of track on foot in the heavy rain, to check the condition of various bridges in the Shivadi-Thoppur Ghat section.

They noticed water flowing above the track at Km. 44/100-000 at 8 p.m. and immediately ran towards Muttampatti Halt, which is about 2 km from the spot, and stopped the train at Muttampatti station. Later on, it was found that 20 m of rail track had been washed away there.

A.K. Mital, SWR General Manager, gave them a cash award of Rs. 5,000 each for their efforts. The breached track was restored at 3.15 a.m. on Wednesday, according to an SWR release.

They noticed water flowing above a section of the track, and quickly had the train stopped