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Duronto Express derails after rains wash away tracks, Mumbai local commuters hit

The derailment of Nagpur-Mumbai Duronto Express in Maharashtra comes at a time when the Indian Railways is reeling due to a series of train accidents.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2017 12:39 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Duronto Express‬,‪Mumbai‬,‪Maharashtra‬
Derailed engine and coaches of Nagpur-Mumbai Duronto Express train near Asangaon in Maharashtra's Thane district on Tuesday morning. No casualties or injuries were reported, officials said.(PTI Photo)

Nine bogies and the engine of the Mumbai-bound Duronto Express derailed early Tuesday after heavy rains washed away a part of the tracks in Maharashtra’s Titwala district, impacting local trains in Mumbai during peak hours, railway officials said.

Officials said suburban train services on the Kasara and Kalyan sections have been hit by the incident and could affect thousands of commuters who take the route for work and business, officials said. Trains between Kalyan and CST were delayed by 10 to 15 minutes.

Mumbai’s suburban trains are the lifeline of lakhs of people of the city and neighbouring areas.

Officials said both tracks near the accident site between Asangaon and Vasind have been closed.

However, local trains from Ambernath and Badlapur towards CST are operating smoothly. The Harbour Line services were also are operating normally.

Besides, several long distance trains have also been diverted, including the CSMT-HS Nanded Tapovan Express, LTT-Bhagalpur Express, CSMT-Lucknow Pushpak Express, LTT-Gorakhpur Express via Allahabad.

The Bhusaval-Pune Express will run via Manmad-Daund and will be short terminated at Daund, officials said, adding that it will run from Daund to Solapur.

Last week, four coaches of a suburban train running between Andheri and CST in Mumbai had derailed at Mahim.

Though railway officials said there were no reports of injuries to passengers in the accident, commuters said a few people including a driver suffered minor injuries when the engine overturned.

“Nagpur-Mumbai Duronto Express has derailed between Vasind and Asangaon. There are no injuries to passengers. We are arranging buses to bring passengers to destination. Doctors and senior officers are already at site,” said Sunil Udasi, the spokesperson of Central Railways.

“The derailment occurred due to landslide.”

The incident occurred at around 6.40 am. Sources quoting local residents said a portion of the tracks had been been washed away due to incessant rains over the past few days.

One of the passengers, Justin Rao, said most of the people were asleep when the train came to the stop after several jerks.

“...People got down and rushed to the engine and found the motorman injured. The motorman was immediately removed from the overturned engine. There are no casualties but a few commuters have suffered minor injuries,” he added.

Tuesday accident is the third in the country within a fortnight.

On August 19, at least 23 people died after 13 coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express derailed in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district.

Five days later, more than 70 people were injured as 10 coaches of the Kaifiyat Express bound for New Delhi jumped tracks after colliding with a dumper in Auraiya in the same state.

In a shake-up following the accidents, Railway Board chairman AK Mittal resigned and Air India chief managing director Ashwani Lohani took his place.

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and had offered to resign.

India’s railway network is the world’s fourth largest by distance and remains the main form of travel in the vast country, with 22 million passengers commuting daily.

But the network is poorly funded and deadly accidents often occur, with experts blaming under-investment and poor safety standards for the frequency of incidents.

A 2012 government report described the loss of 15,000 passengers to rail accidents every year in India as a “massacre”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged $137 billion over five years to modernise the railways and his government has signed numerous upgrading deals with private companies.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 07:57 IST