26-year-old falls off crowded train near Dombivli in Mumbai, dies
A 26-year-old man died after falling off a crowded local train between Dombivli and Kopar stations on Thursday morning — the second such death at the spot, and caused by overcrowding, this week alone.
The stretch between Dombivli and Kopar stations has seen several accidents over the past two years owing to rising crowds at the Dombivli station.
Shiv Gujar, a resident of Dombivli, was on his way to work at a shop in Masjid Bunder. He boarded a fast train to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT). On Monday, 30-year-old Savita Naik died after falling off a crowded train at the same spot.
Gujar’s death not only highlights the issue of overcrowding in trains, but also draws attention to the lack of emergency services at railway stations, with his family claiming that he was not given timely treatment. Gujar is survived by his wife and 18-month-old daughter.
While Dombivli Government Railway Police (GRP) said they took Gujar to the hospital immediately, Gujar’s family claimed he was breathing after he fell off, but authorities delayed taking him to hospital.
“Gujar fell off the train around 9am near Kopar station,” said Satish Pawar, senior police inspector, Dombivli GRP. “He was taken to Shastri Nagar hospital, but declared dead,” said Pawar, adding the train Gujar took was packed.
Gujar’s cousin, Rahul Gujar, was at Kopar station when the accident happened. “I was at Kopar station, on my way to Shastri Nagar hospital, for a routine check-up for my pregnant wife, when I heard commuters talking about the accident,” said Rahul Gujar, adding he didn’t know then it was his cousin. “One of the commuters said the man had been lying on the track for at least 15 minutes and some passengers saw he was breathing. ”
Rahul Gujar said when he reached the hospital, he saw Shiv Gujar’s mother and realised the victim was his cousin. “If the railways provided treatment at the station, he could have been saved,” said Rahul Gujar. The Kopar station does not have an emergency room.
The Dombivli GRP has registered 94 cases of accidental deaths between January and July 25 this year alone.
Commuters and passengers’ association said they have written to authorities about crowding at Dombivli station repeatedly.
“Another accident on the stretch in one week is alarming,” said Pratik Sawant, 29, a regular commuter from Dombivli. “The Central Railway should take the issue seriously and chalk out immediate measures for safety. All locals in the morning peak hours are crowded by the time they reach Dombivli station.”
After Monday’s accident, activists from passengers’ association from Thane had approached the railway police. Lata Argade, vice-president, Railway Pravasi Sangh, Mumbai, said, “After our request, GRP and RPF started announcements at Dombivli, requesting commuters to avoid travelling on the footboard.”
On Thursday, members of passengers’ association from Thane and Mumbai also met railway minister Piyush Goyal in Delhi. “The minister has assured us the 5th and 6th line between Thane and Diva stations would be completed soon, and this would help increase frequency of local trains,” said Argade.