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Loco pilot of derailed Duronto Express turns hero for Indian Railways

The newly-appointed Chairman Railway Board has decided to personally felicitate both the loco pilot and assistant loco pilot of the train.

mumbai Updated: Sep 01, 2017 21:30 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times
loco pilot,Duronto Express,train derailed
(Virender Singh, the loco pilot of Duronto Express)

On Tuesday, senior railway officers heaved a sigh of relief as there was no casualty or serious injury to any passenger after nine coaches and engine of Duronto Express en-route to Mumbai derailed near Asangaon. However, this was possible because of immediate action by the train’s loco pilot (engine driver) Virender Singh and senior assistant local pilot Abhay Kumar. Had the pilots not acted immediately, the derailment could have led to casualties.

The newly-appointed Chairman Railway Board (CRB), Ashwini Lohani, has decided to personally felicitate both the loco pilot and assistant loco pilot. “After taking charge as the CRB, Lohani stated that staff is the biggest strength of the Indian Railways. He appears to be very happy with the pilot for acting quick and managing the situation to prevent a disaster,”said a source.

Virender Singh joined the Indian Railways in 1988 and was promoted as loco pilot in 2009. Singh informed his senior officers that on Tuesday, while the express was crossing the Asangaon and Vasind section, he spotted mud on the tracks, and immediately applied the emergency brakes. This lowered the impact of the train hitting the mud, which resulted in no casualties. The engine was thrown on one side of the track, while some coaches slid and stood horizontal to the track.

Passenger Sanjay Tiwari, who was onboard the Duronto Express, said, “We just felt the jerks. When we got down, we noticed that the engine had toppled over and found the loco pilot was injured. The commuters immediately removed him from the engine. It was prompt action on the part of the loco pilot which saved many lives.”

Meanwhile, railway officers and staff worked for 38 hours to rerail the coaches and commence the Up line between Titwala and Kasara. The down line is still affected, and the work will take another 48 hours to finish.

First Published: Sep 01, 2017 12:37 IST