Quick thinking saved the lives of five people, four of whom escaped unscathed, when a freight train rammed a tractor engine at an unmanned level-crossing between Devanur-Vellamputhur areas near Thirukoilur on Saturday. The tractor driver was listening to music on headphones, leading to the accident that left one woman injured.
Sources said Arumugam (30) of Thimmachur village was transporting bricks by tractor to Vellamputhur village from a private brick kiln. Local labourers Panchalai (38), Chinnammmal, Poongavanam, Dhanam and Anjalai were also in the tractor. When the tractor was traversing the Vellamputhur unmanned level-crossing it was rammed by a freight train that was headed to Villupuram Junction. All except Panchalai jumped off the tractor. Panchalai could not make it out in time. The engine and trailer were thrown apart and Panchalai was thrown 50 metres away. She sustained injuries and was taken to the Thirukoilur Government Hospital.