Boulder crashes through roof of train travelling through Mumbai ghat, 3 passengers hurt
The incident took place around 5.15am between Monkey Hill and Thakurwadi section of the Khandala Ghat,mumbai Updated: Aug 21, 2017 23:47 IST
Three passengers on the Hubli-Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) express were hurt after a boulder came crashing through the roof of a train while it was passing through the Khandala ghat around 5.15 am on Monday. All are said to be out of danger.
Indian Railways officials said they consider the Khandala ghat to be one of their most challenging routes.
While the train was passing through the Monkey Hill and Thakurwadi section of the ghat, about 110 km from Mumbai, a boulder fell on the S6 coach, pierced the metal roof and fell inside, damaging the berths. The incident occurred when the train was between a gorge and a cliff.
Passenger Hasansaab Belavanki, 59, a bank clerk from Hubli, and his son, Asif, were admitted to Fortis Hospital, while Shiv Prasad, 27, is being treated at Kalyan railway hospital.
Hasansaab told HT that he and his family were on their way to Ajmer Sharif Dargah.
They were supposed to catch a flight that afternoon after meeting relatives at CMST, but the incident derailed their plans. “A huge boulder came down crashing through the roof loudly. I was hit. It happend so suddenly that passengers did not have time to react. Everyone was scared and thought the train had met with an accident,” he said.
Railway officials determined it was safe to move the train and so brought it to Thakurwadi station.
After an inspection, it was taken to Karjat, where a team from the mechanical department removed both boulders. It finally left for LTT via Panvel and arrived around 11.30 pm.
This is the second time a boulder has fallen on a passenger train in the same section of the Khandala ghat. On July 18, an engine of the Hyderabad express derailed after it was hit by a boulder. No one was injured.
Taking note of passengers’ safety concerns, AK Jain, commissioner of railway safety (CRS), central circle — statutory authority under ministry of civil aviation — visited the spot and will investigate the matter.A CR spokesperson said the CRS will hold a public hearing about the incident at 10 am on August 23 at CSMT.
Senior CR officials, including general manager DK Sharma, said they have decided to install CCTV cameras in the area to monitor boulders.
They will also make arrangements for adequate lighting along a 600-metre-long stretch of the ghat. “We have written to the Research Designs & Standards Organisation. Their expertise will help us launch remedial measures to prevent such incidents from recurring in vulnerable areas,” said Sunil Udasi, chief spokesperson, CR.
First Published: Aug 21, 2017 10:07 IST