A local train on Sunday, June 28, crashed into the dead end at the Churchgate station in Mumbai, injuring five passengers and disrupting the suburban train services on the Western Railway (WR) line. Following the incident, the Western Railway has launched an inquiry and suspended the motorman of the local, its guard and loco inspector.
The speeding train, coming from Bhayander, rammed into the dead end on platform number 3 of Churchgate station at about 11.20 am, as the motorman failed to stop the train in time. As a result, its first coach jumped onto the south-end concourse of the platform. Due to the impact, the wheels of the first coach were seen hanging in the air, ripping apart all the technical equipment in its lower part and also the overhead wire on upper side.
"Five passengers suffered injuries in the incident. While three of them were given first aid by the Churchgate station staff, two others, including a woman, were referred to GT Hospital for further treatment. They were later discharged," WR said in a statement.
"We have launched an inquiry into the incident. The motorman of the locomotive L S Tiwari, guard Ajay Gohil and loco inspector M G Verma have been suspended in this connection," Shailendra Kumar, divisional railway manager (DRM), Mumbai division, said.
Another senior official said, "Had the hydraulic buffer positioned in the front part of the local not been there, the impact could have been disastrous as the train was speeding." Kumar said the reason for the motorman not being able to halt the train in time is yet to be ascertained.
"In order to check whether Tiwari was drunk, a breath analyser test was conducted, which proved negative. However, for further assurance, his blood sample has been collected," the DRM said on Sunday. He said the mangled coach has been removed from the track and work to restore the services has been launched as no trains could be operated from platform number 3.
Meanwhile, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday, June 29, ordered a probe into the freak accident at Churchgate Station.
Ordered enquiry into freak accident at Churchgate. All lapses of any kind responsibility will be fixed, action will be taken.— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) June 29, 2015
On Monday morning, WR announced the completion of restoration work on the platform. DRM Shailendra Kumar said that restoration operations at platform number 3 in Churchgate have been completed and local train services are likely to resume soon after 11 am. According to Kumar at least 20 suburban services were cancelled since Monday morning as restoration work was underway and the platform was blocked.
Intensive restoration work carried out at Churchgate station PF 3 and completed at 7.30 am PF opened for trains at 10.30 am— Western Railway (@WesternRly) June 29, 2015
CCTV cameras installed at the station show recordings of the train ramming into the buffer zone, sending passengers on platform rushing towards safety while some on board jumping out of the train.