Five people were injured in Mumbai, the financial capital of India, when a mass rapid transit train overshot the platform and crashed into a barrier. The incident happened at Churchgate Station, the terminal railway station on the Western Railway, reports NDTV.
The incident, the cause of which is yet to be ascertained, happened at around 11:15 a.m. local time. There were no major injuries owing to the fact that the accident happened on the weekend. According to the Times of India, the number of injuries could have been much higher had the incident happened on a weekday. Churchgate is one of the busiest railway stations on the Mumbai Suburban Railway network, which is also believed to be among the world’s densest. The incident has raised questions regarding the safety of the local trains which are usually considered very safe.
Traffic to and from Churchgate was affected for over six hours following the accident. It took Western Railway officials over five hours to extricate the mangled train.
According to Western Railways General Manager Sunil Kumar Sood, the cause of the accident is under investigation. He added that the motorman as well as the guard of the train –who were responsible for the safety of the train — have been suspended pending an inquiry. The motorman was also among the list of injured.
“If the train does not stop where it is supposed to, there are buffers to stop it but the train dashed into it. Investigation will make it clear whether the train was coming at high speed or there was something wrong with the buffers.”
While it was reported that the brakes of the train had failed, Mr. Sood clarified that there was very little chance of that happening.
“99 per cent the incident was a result of human error. There is only one per cent possibility that it happened due to a technical fault. The motorman, guard and locomotive inspector have been suspended pending enquiry. The train was travelling at an unusual speed after Marine Lines station. The locomotive inspector should have pulled the emergency brake.”
The Motorman is also being investigated for mental stress.
Pictures of the mangled remains of the train were shared on social media websites. By evening, CCTV footage showing the moment of the train crash was uploaded to YouTube.
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In the video, it is clear the train was speeding while approaching the platform. Passengers can be seen running out of the coaches following the impact.
[Image via Aaj Tak]