Monday, January 9, 2012


Off-duty gateman died trying to prevent train collision

Shiv Sahay Singh
Purnendu showed exemplary courage, says Railway Board Chairman
The only person who died in the train collision at the Phulia station of West Bengal's Nadia district on Saturday evening was the gateman of a nearby level crossing. He was run over trying to prevent the accident.

A resident of Govindpur area, Purnendu Mondal regularly took the Shantipur-bound local train back home. He had just been relieved of his duty and was about to board the train when he saw the Sealdah-bound local coming from the opposite direction on the same track.
Instead of running for his life, he tried to stop the train and was crushed under the wheels. He died on the spot.
“Purnendu showed exemplary courage and we will extend all support to his family,” said Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal, acknowledging the sacrifice of the young gateman, after he rushed to the site.
The accident also left 27 people injured.
The family members of the gateman have been given a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh and Rs. 50,000 each has been given to all the injured, a press release from Eastern Railway said.

Preliminary inquiry

“An independent inquiry has been ordered by the Commissioner of Railway Safety. Since it is a small station we expect the preliminary inquiry report in 15-20 days,” he said.
After inspecting the signalling system and talking to the railway staff at the station, Mr. Mittal told reporters that no fault had been detected.
He directed railway officials to use sand dumps near the station to reduce the speed of trains entering the platform.
Preliminary reports by officials pointed out that the driver of the Sealdah-bound local ignored the signal and rammed the Shantipur-bound local standing on platform number two.
Mr. Mittal said that since the driver of the Sealdah train is suffering from trauma, he has not been questioned so far.
“Most of the passengers were already off the stationary train while the train entering the platform was also running at low speed,” said Madhav Sarkar a tea stall owner at the station.
The driver of the Shantipur train ran away seeing another train approach on the same track. Angry locals ransacked the cabin room and also assaulted the railway staff.
Train services on the Sealdah-Shantipur section resumed after 6.12 a.m. but the mangled debris of the coaches were removed from the station only after 8 a.m. The accident has also caused significant damage to the platform and the railway track.
In a similar incident, passengers had a close shave in July last year in Malda district when the Bengaluru-bound Guwahati-Bengaluru Express was hit by the Azimganj-Malda Town Passenger. There were no casualties.


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