MUMBAI: Nine coaches of the Nagpur-Mumbai Duronto Express derailed near Asangaon of the Kasara-Mumbai suburban railway section on Tuesday morning, bringing traffic to halt.
According to the Central Railway, there were no reports of any casualties or injuries so far in the incident which occurred at around 6.30 am, between the Asangaon and Vashind stations.
Five A/C coaches immediately behind the locomotive crashed out of the embankment while four other were derailed, said members of the rescue team.
At least 76 passengers are said to have received minor injuries in the accident. No causalities have been reported as yet.
The accident took place at around 6.35 am between Vasind and Asangaon. Rescue teams have been sent from Kalyan, said A K Jain, chief PRO of the central railway.
IN PICTURES: Nagpur-Mumbai Duronto Express derails in Maharashtra
Buses are being organized to take the passengers to Mumbai, he added.
The railways have released the following helpline numbers.
CSMT: 022-22694040, Dadar: 022-24114836, Thane: 022-25334840, Kalyan: 0251-2311499, Nagpur: 0712-2564342.
"At least six coaches along with the engine slipped out of the tracks. We could not understand what happened. Few people were stuck in the washrooms and were rescued by fellow travellers breaking glasses of the windows," said Justin Rao, an eye witness travelling in the train.
According to railway officials who didn't want to be named, heavy rains in past few days might have loosened the ballast, causing the derailment.
The accident has thrown the suburban railway traffic between Kasara and Kalyan completely out of gear while several other express trains between Mumbai-Kolkata and Mumbai-Nagpur are expected to be delayed or cancelled.
Central Railway spokesperson AK Jain said the derailed coaches includes the engine.
Prima facie reason for Nagpur Mumbai Duronto Express derailment seems to be a massive landslide, say Central Railway Sources.
This is the second major derailment incident affecting the Mumbai suburban sector in three days.
On August 25, a local train running on Mumbai's Harbour line derailed, while it was returning to the Mahim platform.
Saving the first four coaches, a technical fault caused the derailment of coaches six, seven, eight, and nine. Five-six persons sustained minor injuries, but no case of casualties or major injuries had been recorded.
The incident took place just days after the Delhi-bound Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya district on August 23 At least 81 people were injured after nine coaches of the train derailed in Uttar Pradesh, making it the second train accident in a week. On August 19, Kalinga Utkal Express had also derailed in Muzaffarnagar killing 22 people. Taking moral responsibility for the train accidents under his watch, railway minister Suresh Prabhu had offered to resign but was asked by the PM to “wait”.
Meanwhile, emphasising that safety should always remain principle focused area, newly appointed Chairman Railway Board Ashwani Lohani penned a passionate letter to 13 lakh railway employees.
“At this critical juncture when we are facing a serious issue with the image perception of the railways, I expect all my fellow Railwaymen to pitch in wholeheartedly to set this perception right,” the letter read.
The railways have decided to meet families of loco pilots and counsel them after concerns were raised overworked loco pilots with over 16,464 posts of loco pilots lying vacant.
(With inputs from ENS and agencies)