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Six commuters travelling on train footboard fall to death in Chennai

The dangling backpacks of these commuters had brushed against the concrete wall, throwing them off balance and leading to their falling from the moving train, said a railway official.

india Updated: Jul 24, 2018 22:57 IST
C S Kotteswaran
C S Kotteswaran
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Railway accident,Southern railways,Indian railways
The passengers fell off a suburban train going from Chennai Beach to Thirumalpur on Tuesday.(HT File Photo/Representative image)

Six train passengers were killed and 10 others were injured between Monday evening and Tuesday morning when they crashed into a concrete barrier while dangling out of crowded coaches at Chennai’s St Thomas Mount railway station.

The victims were caught unaware since operations had been shifted to a narrower channel instead of the regular suburban line due to repairs. People in local trains often illegally travel on the footboard, which the railways defines as a punishable offence.

The dead included three students, and all 16 were between 16 and 30 years old. At least one of them was decapitated and another suffered an amputation.

The first deaths took place around 7 pm on Monday when two commuters on the Chennai Beach-Chengalpattu train hit the wall and fell to their death.

A little over 13 hours, 10 people perched precariously on the footboard of another suburban train hit the wall, about 50 metres from the scene of the first accident, and fell in a heap on the rugged surface.

Four of them died, said state health secretary J Radhakrishnan, according to PTI.

According to an eyewitness of the second accident, S Rekha, the coach was particularly crowded trains were running at a 15-25 minute delay.

Additional director general of police, (railways) C Sylendra Babu blamed footboard travelling for the accidents. A detailed inquiry will be conducted to prevent such accidents in the future, officials added.

Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami expressed condolences and announced a payout of Rs 1 lakh each for the bereaved families.

(with inputs from PTI)

First Published: Jul 24, 2018 17:14 IST