38 injured as Mangalore Express derails near Villuppuram
At least 38 passengers, including 25 women, were injured when Train No. 16859 Chennai Egmore-Mangalore Central Express derailed near Poovanur railway station in Tiruchi Division around 2 a.m. on Friday. The State police ruled out possibility of a sabotage.
Preliminary reports suggested that six coaches, including the last vehicle, derailed. ‘108’ ambulances were called to move the injured passengers to a government hospital in Vridhachalam. All trains heading to Chennai Egmore from southern Tamil Nadu were diverted via Thanjavur and Salem to Chennai and other destinations, railway sources said.
Senior railway officials rushed from a Chennai and Tiruchi and commenced restoration work. Cudalore Collector S. Suresh Kumar and Superintendent of Police Vijay Kumar also reached the spot to supervise relief and rescue operations. The derailment happened minutes after the train passed Poovanur railway station, some 8 kms north of Vridhachalam. But for the Madurai-Chennai Pandian Superfast Express, all other trains from southern destinations to Chennai Egmore were held up due to the derailment, the sources said.
Mr. Suresh Kumar said all the injured passengers were out of danger. Special buses were arranged to move the stranded passengers to Villuppuram, Tiruchi, Salem and other places. A team of revenue and transport officials were deployed to provide assistance to the passengers, he said.
The Madurai-Chennai Vaigai and Tiruchi-Chennai Pallavan Superfast Express trains would be run via Thanjavur and Kumbakonam, railway sources said and added that normal traffic would be restored by noon on Friday.
Most of the injured passengers were treated as out-patients at the Vridhachalam government hospital. The Mangalore Express proceeded to its destination after six coaches were detached from the train.
The Southern Railway has announced the following helplines for providing information on the derailment of the Chennai-Mangalore Express:
Tiruchi: 0431-2461241, 2410534
Chennai Egmore: 044-29015203
7.45 a.m.: Padmanabhan, an official of the School Education Department, who was travelling in the train, reportedly lost Rs. 1.5 lakh after the derailment.
7.15 a.m.: Tiruchi-Chennai Egmore Pallavan Superfast Express scheduled to depart Tiruchi at 6.30 am delayed.
6.45 a.m.: Cuddalore Collector S Suresh Kumar meets the injured at the hospital.
6.30 a.m.: Railway officials begin restoration work. Derailed coaches have been removed off the tracks.
6.22 a.m.: Police have ruled out sabotage.
6.15 a.m.: Most of the injured passengers treated as out-patients at Vridhachalam Government Hospital. One woman admitted with shoulder injury.
6.10 a.m.: Some passengers who preferred not to continue journey moved to Salem, Tiruchi and Villuppuram by special buses.