Freak accident throws WR off-track | india | Hindustan Times
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Freak accident throws WR off-track

india Updated: Jun 30, 2009 00:54 IST
Rajendra Aklekar
Rajendra Aklekar
Hindustan Times
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On Monday, Aasif Ali Ashiq Ali (24) managed to get into a packed 10.50 am Churchgate-bound fast train from Borivli station.

He was in a hurry to reach his workplace — a shoe factory in Byculla.

However, Ali, who was standing on the footboard of a second-class compartment, did not make it beyond four stations.
At 11.40 am, as the local was nearing Santacruz station, an overhead wire snapped and reportedly fell on the train, taking down Ali.

He died on the spot, the Government Railway Police said.

Within seconds, the train’s pantograph — the overhead equipment that draws power from the cables — collapsed.

Panic-stricken commuters jumped on the tracks, and many suffered serious injuries.

Western Railway officials confirmed that the overhead wires had snapped and the pantographs were damaged, but they refused to comment on the cause of the accident.

“The commissioner of railway safety will inquire into the matter to find out what actually happened,” said SS Gupta, WR chief spokesperson.

The accident disrupted WR services on the fast line for about four hours.

While fast trains heading to Borivli and beyond resumed services at 1.25 pm, rail traffic towards Churchgate started at 2.40 pm. All services normalised by 3.30 pm.

Four of the injured are still in RN Cooper Hospital.

Malad resident Deepak Dhana (38), who works in a photo studio, injured his left hand. He was on his way to meet his parents, who live in Matunga.

Amit Gala (25), a resident of Malad, suffered injuries on his face while Goregaon resident Brian Buthello (17), a student, injured his head. He was on his way for a job interview at Lower Parel.

Goregaon resident Tabbassum Pathan (21), who was on her way to work, suffered injuries on her hands.

The WR gave the four injured an ex-gratia of Rs 5,000 each, and Rs 15,000 to Ali’s kin.

Ali’s 19-year-old wife and parents, who live in Allahabad, were informed of his death.

Ali, who had married a year ago, was living with his in-laws in Goregaon.

Ageing train’s fault?

Railway sources, on condition of anonymity for lack of authorisation to speak to the media, said the train is one of WR’s ageing fleet.

It has been plying for over two decades.

“A number of trains passed the spot but the overhead wire did not snap. There must be something wrong with this particular train’s overhead equipment that led to the incident,” a source said.