An empty local crashed into the buffer at the dead-end of platform 5 of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) around 2 am Tuesday. While no casualty was reported, commuters had to suffer delays due to the incident. It is second such collision reported within six months in Mumbai.
The sheer intensity of the collision led to derailment of two compartments of the train. The train further uprooted some parts of the platform, railing and security grills in the process. The incident led to a delay in local services by 20 minutes on the Central Railway (CR).
Sunil Kumar Sood, General Manager of Central Railway, said, “In this incident, a guard who was not supposed to run the train was driving. As he was not accustomed to run it, he could not halt the train in time.”
The guard, Shankar Naik, was running the train though motorman Vijay Khanvilkar was on duty at that time. The guard has been suspended.
Amitabh Ojha, Divisional Railway Manager, Mumbai, said “A J-grade committee of four officials has been formed to inquire into the matter.’’
Taking stock of the situation, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in a tweet ordered the general manager of CR to initiate an inquiry in the case and restore traffic.
According to railway sources, the trains are thoroughly tested before being pressed into services in the morning. For these tests, the trains are taken to a distance of 500 metres from the platforms and their controls and other functioning are checked.
After the checks, the train is halted at the platform. In this case, when the train — the first local to run in the morning — was being brought to platform 5, it rammed into the buffer before coming to a halt.
The accident left the platform damaged and local services could not be operated. The derailed coaches also damaged the tracks and other equipment on the platform. Services were operated from the remaining platforms of the station.
A special crane and hauling tools were pressed into action. It took the authorities another four hours to clear the tracks off the derailed coaches. “The derailed coaches were cleared by 6 am, which took a toll on the suburban services,” said a senior official.
A similar incident was witnessed on June 28, 2015 along the Western Railway, when a speeding train from Churchgate crashed into the buffer. Five commuters were injured in that incident
Due to increasing cases of derailments, OHE failure, rail fractures of the local trains, commuters of central have been facing constant delays. On Monday too, there was a delay due to a rail track fracture along the CST fast line between Kalyan and Diva.