Wall at St Thomas mount claims five lives; seven people killed in just five days

According to sources, the EMU train was on its way from Chennai Beach to Thirumalpur and the mishap occured while the train was entering into St. Thomas Mount Station around 8.15 am.

Published: 24th July 2018 10:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th July 2018 10:53 AM   |  A+A-

Accident spot where two passengers died after falling from EMU train at St Thomas railway station, Chennai. ( Photo | Ashwin Prasath/ EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Five youth, including a school boy and three college students, travelling on the footboard of a suburban train died after they dashed against a wall close to the track at St Thomas Mount railway station and were run over on Tuesday. 

The wall, it is learnt, has claimed the lives of seven passengers in the last five days. Commuters criticised Railways for failing to act after two passengers died on Monday night and one on July 20, under similar circumstances.

ALSO READ | ‘Decoupled coaches were run past maintenance cycle’

Tuesday’s tragedy occurred around 8.30 am when an overcrowded EMU train from Chennai Beach to Tirumalpur was entering the St Thomas Mount railway station. It is said the backpacks of a few passengers on the footboard hit the wall between platforms 3 and 4 and over a dozen passengers fell from a coach in the middle portion of the train.

Those who fell between the wall and track survived, but suffered grievous injuries. However, five persons who fell on the track were run over by the train. Two died on the spot and three on the way to the hospital.

Accident spot near St Thomas mount station, in which 2 people died
and 5 injured on Thursday morning
. (Sunish P Surendran | EPS)

The deceased P Sivakumar (20) of RA Puram was studying in a Tambaram private college. Another victim, R Barath, a 16-year-old Plus Two student, was a native of Pozhichalur. He had travelled from Chennai Beach to Tambaram to go to school as he lived with his mother at Tondiarpet. Another victim is yet to be identified.

A 23-year-old Naveen Kumar from Foreshore Estate, said to be his family’s sole breadwinner, also lost his life. He was an employee of an automobile company. Naveen Kumar’s father Palani is a fisherman. He said his son completed his engineering course two years ago and recently joined the company at Perungudi. “He had parked his bike at a friend’s house at Pallavaram. He was going there to take his bike to go to office,” said Palani.Hundreds of shocked passengers got off the train following the incident. Some resumed their travel by another train after a brief delay.

ALSO READ | What causes the frequent accidents at St. Thomas Mount station?

“I noticed the people on foot-board falling one after another from the compartment. As we started screaming, the train stopped. By the time, we got off the train, the head of a college student was found separated from his body and under the train,” said K Kannan, student of a private college.Another passenger, S Gopi of Chromepet, said they were waiting at Saidapet station for more than 30 minutes as there were no trains from 7.45 am to 8.15 pm.

“The train was jam-packed. Since it was already late, we were forced to travel by footboard,” he said.

Over 600 suburban services cater to about 11 lakhs passengers
a day in four sections.

Morning suburban services were disrupted from 7 am after an overhead line snapped near Kodambakkam, as a result of which Chennai Beach- Tirumalpur train operated on slow line was diverted to fast line.

On Monday, two persons who travelled on Chennai Beach - Tirumalpur fast train died after they hit the concrete fence at St. Thomas Mount. On July 20, S Raja (27), who was injured after hitting the divider on July 19, succumbed to his injuries.

Seven people killed in just five days
On Monday, Vigneshwaran (24) of Selaiyur and Stephen Muthu Raja (30) of Thiruchendur died after they hit the concrete fence at St. Thomas Mount station. On July 20, S Raja (27), who was hurt after hitting the wall on July 19, died of his injuries.

All three had been on Beach-Tirumalpur fast trains. ADGP C Sylendra Babu said police would recommend removal of the wall. But, Divisional Railway Manager, Chennai,  Naveen Gulati said it could not be removed. A panel had been formed to see how to modify the structure.


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  • Muru

    Every indians must imprint in their minds and action " Safety first" no matter what they do and when they do.
    4 years ago reply
  • Durgadevi

    I regret to say the negligence of the southern railway has not .0001%improved. still they are watching the irresponsible passengers hanging from footboard without taking any action.
    4 years ago reply
  • Muthu

    Wrost Central Govt. Staff and rules. .. railway minister is not wroth for your job.. U just leave your job and give this for who have the eligiblity to handling this job to fit.
    4 years ago reply
  • Sangeetha

    Need a justice for the death persons. That accident happened why because of lack of trains at the peak hours for daily timing
    4 years ago reply

    Railways cannot escape from their responsibilities. The over crowding and foot board travelling, should be stopped. Due to non availability of adequate number of RPF personnel at stations, commuters use to travel on foot board and especially in Fast Locals, such incidents are occurring . Railway should increase number of coaches in Fast Locals and deploy one RPF staff in each Fast Locals so that they may detrain the passengers travelling on foot board. I had not come across a single incident wherein RPF had taken any action against any commuter for travelling on Foot Board. I hope that the recent tragedy will be an eye opener for Railways and for the commuters but surprisingly while travelling today morning, I saw the same plight of foot board travelling of commuters in a CGL - Beach local. Some stringent steps are warranted from Southern Railway and RPF. Mere announcement in Railway coaches will not fetch any result.
    4 years ago reply
  • Venkateswaran

    It is purely the poor maintenance by railway. They are fully responsible for this accident.
    4 years ago reply
  • Jayakumar

    Railway s has to think seriously having a doors on compartments to avoid such incidents. Also maintain timing to ease the crowd. Thanks
    4 years ago reply
  • Rajesh

    Population is increasing day by day but development of transport and it's quality is very poor in cities nowadays. Hence, Increasing 2nd class coaches may helpful to reducing crowd and also increasing frequency of trains in peak hours are needful.
    4 years ago reply
  • kalpana

    Train frequency can be increased between chennai beach to chengalpet. its a tedious process to travel in chennai beach to chengalpet train due to low frequency. its not only these six also one more died in same station last thursday. southern railway should take action against this or otherwise we all protest against this goverment.
    4 years ago reply
  • Mo

    Enough trains must be operated from beach to chengalpaatu during peak hours.Railway officials knews about regular crowds ,they also one of responsible for this disaster .All station master must be informed to higher authority for regular passenger inconvenience.Pls introduce automatic door close like Metro train to avoid this. Do the needful early before another disaster.
    4 years ago reply
  • Pragadeesh

    Train frequency can be increased to avoid such disasters and it will be of great convenience to passengers. Please consider and help the passengers.
    4 years ago reply
  • Lakshmi

    Trains if come in scheduled time, the crowd will not accumulate. Like roadways there are no big hindrances for railways, so it can keep up the time. Train comes next by next or takes a long time. If time is maintained most of the accidents can be avoided.
    4 years ago reply
  • John

    Since there is no train service between kodambakkam to chengalpet after 6:45 am , the whole crowd onboarded in to 8:00 am train, that was the reason for whole mishap. Railways should accountable for this killing. Poor management by southern railways!
    4 years ago reply

    India says they have Advanced Defence weapens and missile etc., Technology has improved so much but after so many years India is one of the developing country who still allow Railways to run open door Units for crowded cities and all suburban trains, which is shameful for the government authorities and Railways who claim they have state of art Coaches.
    4 years ago reply
  • Subburaj S

    Automatic closing doors to be compulsory in all types public transport including buses in cities to avoid such incidents in future.Authorities may look into.
    4 years ago reply
    • Umesh.

      Perfect solution. But not a feasible one. Co-Passengers should adjust while travelling and that too those who stand on the path way. In any case,. Foot board travel is not acceptable and advisable.
      4 years ago reply
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