Sunday, August 9, 2015

COIMBATORE: A freight train loaded with cement derailed near the Irugur Station on Friday afternoon, causing slight panic among commuters in the area. While the reason behind the derailment is yet to be ascertained, at least six passenger trains that pass through or end in Coimbatore have been delayed by 45 minute to more than an hour.

A 21-wagon cement-carrying freight train, running between Palayam and Vallapatnam Port, suddenly derailed with a loud noise at 11.45am. The incident took place near a level crossing near the Irugur Station.

"It was at a turning point between the Irugur and Podanur Station that the derailment occurred," said a Southern Railways spokesperson. "The fourth and fifth bogeys from behind had derailed. Their weight had also caused the last three bogeys to slightly veer off track," said Shubhranshu, divisional railway manager of Salem division. "The derailment happened when the train was changing track on a turn. The guard in-charge of changing the track had reverted to the original track before the whole train had passed through," he said. "Thus, the last few bogeys suddenly found themselves without a bypass to move to the next track and derailed," he said. The man in charge of changing tracks has been placed under suspension.

A few commuters who pass through the level crossing were surprised to see motionless train bogeys leaning to one side along the track. "Some two-wheeler riders who had been waiting for the level crossing gate to open said that they heard a loud screeching noise before the train came to a halt," said an Irugur-based commuter on the phone. "We only saw large crowds gathering around the derailed bogies," he said.

With the track to Coimbatore junction being blocked, at least four passenger trains and two express trains suffered delays. While the Chennai-Coimbatore Kovai Express and Shatabdi Express have been delayed by more than two hours, the Palakkad-Erode passenger train has been terminated at Coimbatore junction and made to return to Palakkad immediately.

The Shalimar Nagercoil Gurudev Express and Dhanbad Allapuzha Express have been stopped enroute and is likely to suffer a delay of more than four hours.

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