Four pilgrims, including two college students, were mowed down by a speeding train near the Walajah Railway Station in the early hours of Monday.
The dead were identified as Anandan (45) of Melpatti in Gudiyattam Taluk, Jagadesan (18) of Gudiyattam Town and Velu (alias) Singaravelu (18) of Harur Taluk in Dharmapuri district and Naveen (18) of Melkrishnapuram near Ambur.
They were part of separate groups of pilgrims, travelling by foot to the Tiruttani Murugan Temple. After walking for a long distance, they halted at the railway station on Sunday night, said A Ravi, Government Railway Police Inspector, Katpadi.
After waking up to resume their journey on Monday morning, several pilgrims crossed the track to have tea in a nearby tea shop.
Without noticing the speeding Alleppey Express on the upline towards Chennai, the four crossed the track.
The speeding train hit the pilgrims, killing Anandan, Jaggadesan and Singaravelu instantly. Naveen sustained serious injuries and was shifted to the Government Vellore Medical College Hospital, where he succumbed to injuries around 9 am, police added.
“The incident took place at 5.05 am. The train was running at a speed of around 100 kilometre per hour,” said a head constable deputed at the Walajah Railway Station. The Katpadi Railway Police registered a case. After a post-mortem, the bodies were handed over to the family members.
Police sources said in a similar accident in 2010, three persons were run over by the Mangalore Express on the same spot, when they tried to cross the track. “In the absence of a foot-over bridge in the station, passengers are forced to cross the track to reach the other side,” said a police official.