Day after, officials say pulling of chain over suspected accident possible cause
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The collision of two local trains at Andheri railway station on Saturday and the subsequent derailment of three coaches may have been caused by the pulling of chain in the Churchgate-Virar local, one of the trains involved in the accident, by a commuter to tend to a suspected accident.
Passengers on board and officials said the Churchgate-Virar local on the fast corridor was stationary for nearly ten minutes before the accident as a commuter had pulled the chain because it was suspected that a person had fallen down.
Meanwhile, the other train headed towards Churchgate from Borivali was on the slow track and was changing to the fast track when it collided with the Virar-bound local. The signal was double yellow, official sources said.
The Borivali-Churchgate local was changing the line from up slow track to up fast. While doing so, it tried to cross the down fast line and the Churchgate-Virar train collided with the Borivali-Churchgate train.
"The train had slowed down because it was nearing the station, but then there was a sudden brake, a bang and we all rocked back and forth. People suspected a bomb blast and many jumped on to the tracks," said Kunal Laxmichand Sangoi, who was travelling from Malad to Andheri in the Churchgate-bound train. Sangoi was in a compartment behind one that derailed.
"Later, people started pelting stones. We had no clue where the motormen were, whether they had fled or had got lost in the crowd," Sangoi said.
An official source said the motorman of the Churchgate-bound train, had in fact, helped avert a major disaster by using the emergency brake.
"The motorman showed presence of mind and used the emergency brake that helped minimise the impact," the source said.
As per official records, of the six commuters who suffered injuries, three are seriously injured. They were taken to BSES and Cooper Hospitals, Andheri, and are reported to be stable. An ex-gratia payment of Rs 5,000 each has been made to those seriously injured, while those who suffered minor injuries have been given Rs 500.
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