Level crossings in Alappuzha turn death traps

Published: 24th September 2012 12:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th September 2012 12:49 PM   |  A+A-

It was yet another black Sunday for Aroor as a similar accident had taken the lives of two of their young men, Jaison and Bineesh seven months ago. It happened on January 22, 2012, at an unmanned level crossing at Anjilikkad one-and-a-half kilometre away from Aroor railway station, when the Ernakulam- Kayamkulam passenger hit their bike.

 “This is the latest episode of recurring railway accidents in Alappuzha district,” local MLA A M Arif said. He accused the Railways of killing people with their anti-people stand. “The tragedy is the result of cruel neglect on the part of Railways. Railway officials vanish after giving false promises,” he said echoing the people’s sentiments.

 As many as 63 persons, including two Germans and three Bengalis lost their lives in the state during the last 16 years when trains hit their vehicles at unmanned level crossings. Unfortunately, Alappuzha district contributed the maximum number of the victims, 51 in seven accidents.

 Except the unmanned level crosssing tragedy which killed five people at Thaiyilmukku between Karunagapally and Oachira on August 6, 2011, all the other major recent tragedies in the state were in Alappuzha district. The biggest among them is the Kayamkulam Cheppad tragdey wherein 38 persons succumbed to death after Ernakulam Kayamkulam Push Pull train hit two buses of a marriage party on June 16, 1966. 

 Not many in the district were lucky as  Ramesh, Muhammad Niyaz and Nirmalkumar. All three hailing from Kayamkulam had a miraculous escape on July 1, 2012 after the Kayamkulam-Eranakulam Passenger hit their car at an unmanned level crossing at Kuttikkulangara near Kayamkulam. In August 2010, four persons, including a German tourist couple were killed at a level crossing at Mararikkulam and five persons were killed on the spot on May 9, 1998 when Thiruvnanthapuram-Howrah Express rammed into their vehicle at the level crossing at Cheruthana near Harippad.

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