Three commuters were injured and services on the Central Railway (CR) disrupted for several hours on Tuesday after three of the four pantographs of a train broke and hit another local at Vangani station.
A pantograph is a device that draws power from overhead wires to run the train. The accident – third in three months – took place around 8.21am. The pantographs of a 12-car CST-Karjat local broke while the train was approaching the station and also damaged the overhead wire.
Pieces of the broken pantograph or the wire hit passengers of a Karjat-CST train, who were standing near the door. The injured passengers are — Vilas Dattu, 27, Anant Karale, 20, and Abdul Dastagir, 23. While Dattu was seriously injured and suffered compound fractures on his right leg, the other two were discharged late in the evening.
Dastagir, a resident of Kurla, told HT, "I don’t know what hit me, but passengers in another compartments were also hurt."
"We have announced an ex-gratia of Rs5,000 to all the injured passengers and the railway will pay for their treatment," said a CR spokesperson.
The accident threw the CR out of gear with services on the down lines between Badlapur and Karjat station coming to a halt. While the up line was restored in 45 minutes, suburban services were affected and many outstation trains were delayed.
Concerned by the railway accidents, the commissioner of railway safety has decided to conduct a probe. "Train services on the affected section were restored by noon after clearance of the stranded rake," said Vidhyadhar Malegaokar, chief PRO, CR.
Passengers said railways weren’t doing enough. "Railway doesn’t have sufficient funds to carry out work. They are endangering our lives," said Subhash Gupta from National Railway Users’ Consultative Committee.