Two people died and 12 were injured as a Kalyan-bound train rammed into the debris of a bridge bearing a water pipeline that collapsed onto the tracks between Mulund and Thane on Friday morning.
The root of the tragedy was a dispute between the Central Railway (CR) and Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC).
The bridge’s girders had cracked several times and the TMC tried to reconstruct the bridge in parts on more than 30
occasions, but each time the girders cracked again or their supporting structures slipped.
TMC officials blamed CR. “We have been asking CR to block traffic on this stretch so that we can finish the work, but they never do so,” city engineer KD Lala said.
CR said they had blocked traffic 30 times, but the TMC was always unprepared.
“The matter is being politicised. Instead of exploring technical solutions, the TMC involved politicians,” a CR official said.
As the train rammed into the girder, causing the entire bridge to collapse, the train cabin crumpled around the motorman R Ramachandran.
Ramachandran spotted the girder in the nick of time and hit the brakes, limiting the damage.
However, Ramachandran could only extricated from the cabin three hours later, by which time it was too late to save him.
(With inputs by Susamma Kurian and Shashank Rao)