Friday, October 5, 2012


Bid to derail Kochuveli Express 


  The Hubli-Kochuveli Express, bound for Kochuveli, survived a major sabotage attempt after it hit two logs of coconut tree placed on the railway track near Chalakkudy station in the wee hours of Thursday.
Though the driver of the speeding train applied the brake soon after noticing the obstacles on the track, the train rammed into the logs of coconut tree, breaking the compressor valves of the engine.
However, there were no reports of injuries to any passengers.
The incident happened near Vellanchira Kalvarikunnu church at 1.30 am. As a result of the the collision, the logs broke into pieces and got entangled under the engine, damaging the compressor valves. Though the train had a cowcatcher, it dragged the log pieces through the tracks for around 300 metres. Soon after the incident, the train guards tried their best to remove the log pieces from the engine, but they couldn’t get them off the engine.
Later, the driver started the train and slowly took it to the Chalakudy station. The railway staff were called in and the train was moved after repairing the engine and clearing the debris from the line by 4.30 am.
Following the mishap, traffic was disrupted on the track for nearly two hours. Hundreds of appalled passengers on board the train said they feared that the train was about to derail when it hit the wooden pieces. According to one passenger, who got down at the next station following the incident, there was a loud noise when the train hit the pieces of tree.
“We didn’t know what we had struck as most of the passengers were in deep sleep, but the noise was really loud,” the passenger said.
Railway officials said the train may have got derailed had it been running at full speed. They strongly suspect the incident as a clear case of sabotage attempt.
“This is the second such incident on the route in less than a week’s time, forcing us to increase vigil along the tracks and asking guards to be on high alert,” said Ashok Kumar, area manager of Southern Railways. On closer inspection, the railway officials found that the logs were brought from the nearest compound and placed on the tracks. The incident has been brought to the notice of senior officials of the Southern Railways, he added.
Chalakudy DySP P K Renjan said that the police have begun a probe into the incident.
There are some miscreants in the area, and initially, the probe will revolve around them, he said. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has also been asked to maintain greater vigil along the route.
Earlier, a bundle of Chinese crackers was found on the track. On Sunday, the Kochuveli-Porbander Express survived a sabotage attempt after its loco pilot spotted around five boulders placed on the track near Chempisherry over bridge in Thrissur.
The local police have arrested two Odisha natives in connection with the case. In a detailed interrogation, they have confessed to have done it under the grip of alcohol.

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