CHENNAI: In a rare train accident, a superfast train and suburban train moving parallel near Pattabiram brushed against each other injuring seven passengers in the local train on Thursday around 8.15 pm. The engine of the Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram superfast mail and two compartments derailed after the brush.
Several trains starting from Chennai Central were delayed due to the accident. Suburban services on the segment too were affected for a few hours.
“The loco pilot of the superfast train had jumped the signal leading to the accident. Luckily, the suburban train was slowing down. Otherwise, the impact could had been more severe,” said a Southern Railway official. Eyewitnesses said both the trains were simultaneously crossing a curved portion on parallel tracks when the brushing occurred.
Injured passengers, most of whom were near the entrance of the suburban train, were rushed to the Avadi Military Hospital and later shifted to Perambur Railway hospital.
Senior railway officers, including the Southern Railway General Manager, visited the spot and held enquiries. Two compartments of the local train suffered structural damage in the impact.
At the Chennai Central railway station, all express trains bound for Arakonam and Katpadi were delayed. After one line was cleared around 10 25 pm, the Chennai Mangalore Mail, which was to have departed originally at 8.20 pm, left the station. Meanwhile at the Moore Market complex, a slight commotion prevailed as all local trains towards Avadi were suspended indefinitely. Employees, students and other common men who were hoping to catch the local train home were left stranded. RPF personnel, who were at the station, had a tough time responding to the individual queries of commuters.
Suresh Kumar, a resident of Thiruninravur, said: “I usually catch my local train at around 8 pm. Today, when I reached the station, there was a huge crowd at the station. They were seeking clarifications from railway personnel. I hope to catch a late night train, if not I will have to stay at the station itself overnight.”