VILLUPURAM: Railway officials’ gross apathy came to the fore on Sunday when passengers of the Chalukya Express had to travel with the body of 60-year-old woman for nearly 10 hours. The woman had died in the compartment midway through the journey.
The body was taken out of the Chalukya Express at Villupuram Junction after passengers so demanded, as a foul smell had started emanating from it.
Sources said the woman was found dead around 5 am and the body was cleared from the train compartment around 3 pm only.
According to passengers, the woman had boarded the express at Lokmanya Tilak terminus in Maharashtra on Saturday afternoon.
Around 5 am on Sunday when the train reached the Kadappa Junction she was found dead in her seat.
The other passengers then informed the Railway police and asked them to remove the body, but as the train was about to start, police and railway station staff refused to remove the deceased.
Railway junction officials at Renigunda junction also refused to take the body out of the train, stating they should get permission from the higher authorities.
Passengers who were unable to bear the stench, informed the Railway Protection Force sub-inspector and other railway officials at Egmore railway station.
The officials responded that they were short of staff as it was a Sunday and asked the passengers to wait for another three hours as the train would halt for 20 minutes at Villupuram.
However, unable to tolerate the stench any further, the passengers went straight to the Railway Protection Force station and told the officials about their predicament.
After getting the information, police officials, along with the help of the railway staff, got the body of the woman off the train and washed the compartment with water.
Passengers said that this was one of the most disgusting experience they ever had while travelling. They would never forget and condemned the railway officials for what they called as callous attitude and indifference.