10 die in Tamil Nadu train collision, survivors recount trauma

September 14th, 2011 - 11:55 am ICT by IANS  

Chennai/Arakkonam, Sep 14 (IANS) A big metallic bang… that’s what survivors remembered Wednesday from the traumatic moments the night before when an EMU train rammed a stationary passenger train near Arakkonam junction in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district, killing 10 people and injuring 86.

Rescue efforts were on in full swing Wednesday morning with personnel from the Tamil Nadu Commando Force, naval personnel from the INS Rajali base in Arakkonam, Fire Service, National Disaster Response Force and others.

The Chennai Beach-Vellore electric multiple unit (EMU) train hit the Arakkonam-Katpadi passenger train, waiting for a signal near the Chitheri station around 9.30 p.m. Five bogies of the stationary train and three of the EMU were derailed near Arakkonam, about 85 km from here.

Janakiraman, who has been brought to Government General Hospital in Chennai Tuesday night, said he heard a huge noise. After sometime he scrambled out of the bogie window in which he was travelling.

A similar tale of survival was narrated by Sundar admitted in the hospital in Arakkonam.

“I somehow came out of the window. We also helped two others to come out,” he said.

Some of the injured passengers say they lost their belongings in the accident.

Relatives of the injured gathered at the Government General Hospital in Chennai.

An official of the Government General Hospital here told IANS: “Thirty-six injured people (26 male and 10 female) have been admitted at the hospital Tuesday night. None of them are in serious condition though many have suffered fractures.”

“Driver of the EMU train Rajkumar is also admitted here. His blood samples have been collected to find out whether he was under the influence of liquor,” the official added.

The rescue efforts were hampered Tuesday night owing to the rains. With rains stopped the rescue and relief efforts are going at good pace.

M. Bhoopathy, public relations officer of Southern Railway, told IANS that normal services were expected to resume by 2 p.m.

According to railway officials, the driver of the EMU train seems to have ignored the speed and signal restrictions.

Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi who left for the accident site Wednesday morning announced ex-gratia compensation of Rs.5 lakh for the dead, Rs.1 lakh for the seriously injured and Rs.25,000 for the others.

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