Commuters try to save man trapped between platform, train, but in vain
The victim was identified as Rajendra Khandke, 48, who lived in Kopar Khairane with a relative. The incident occurred at around 2.30pm, with CCTV footage showing him jumping onto the tracks from the platform, unaware of the approaching CSTM-Panvel local
NAVI MUMBAI: A man trespassing on the tracks at Vashi railway station was hit and dragged a few hundred metres by a running train on Thursday afternoon, leading to his death. Though commuters at the station failed to collectively push the rake in a bid to free him, their compassion brought to fore the oft-cited spirit of Mumbai once again. Commuters had, on Tuesday, helped a woman deliver a baby on a running local near Uran.
The victim was identified as Rajendra Khandke, 48, who lived in Kopar Khairane with a relative. The incident occurred at around 2.30pm, with CCTV footage showing him jumping onto the tracks from the platform, unaware of the approaching CSTM-Panvel local.
“He had alighted from a train was trying to cross from platform number 2 to platform number 3 along the tracks instead of using the subway,” said Sambhaji Katare, senior police inspector of Vashi railway station.
He said the motorman of the CSTM-Panvel local on track 3 tried to warn Khandke by honking repeatedly, but he couldn’t get back on the platform in time.
“He got caught between the train and the platform and was dragged for some distance before the motorman managed to stop the train,” said Katare, adding that police personnel rushed to the spot upon hearing the honking.
Commuters at the station who witnessed the incident were initially shocked, with some fleeing the spot. But on realising that Khandke was stuck and couldn’t be pulled out easily, they tried to tilt the compartment weighing around 4-5 tonne with the help of police personnel, so he could be extracted.
“Of course, the people were not able to tilt the compartment, but their spirit had to be seen to be believed. Young and old, all were desperate to save the man,” said Katare.
When the commuters’ efforts proved unsuccessful, police officials managed to somehow pull Khandke out from the gap. He was rushed to the civic hospital in Vashi where he received initial treatment before being shifted to the JJ hospital in south Mumbai. He subsequently passed away, said Swapnil Nila, chief public relations officer, Central Railway.
Speaking about the perils of trespassing on the tracks, Nila said, “Of the 2,590 deaths last year on the suburban train network, 1,277 people including 109 women lost their lives while crossing the tracks, while 590 persons including 55 women died due to falling from a running train.”
The chief public relations officer further said that among 2,441 persons injured on the suburban train network last year, 241 persons were injured while crossing the tracks; 489 after falling from a running train; 47 after hitting a pole; and one person was injured after he fell in gap between the train and the platform.
“Despite repeated warnings and awareness campaigns, several commuters continue to jump tracks to save a few minutes. Precious lives are lost on a daily basis when there is no reason for it,” lamented Nila.
Wasim Kazi, a regular commuter from Vashi, said, “It is very common to see people jumping over the tracks to catch a train. Several people take such risks even when they see a train approaching, seeming very confident.”
“There needs to be strict action with regular monitoring to nab such people and heavy fines should be imposed as a deterrent,” he added.