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Mumbai rains: Nearly 1,000 passengers rescued from Mahalaxmi Express, medical checkups underway

A special train has been arranged for all the passengers from Kalyan to Kolhapur, CM Fadnavis said while expressing his gratitude to NDRF, Army, Navy, Airforce, Police and Railways for their coordinated rescue operation.

By: Express Web Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: July 27, 2019 4:52:41 pm
Mahalaxmi Express was held up between Badlapur and Vangani station in Mumbai due to heavy rains Saturday morning.

Mahalaxmi Express Train: At least 1,000 passengers, including nine pregnant women, have been rescued from the Mahalaxmi Express stranded near Vangani in Thane district due to water logging on tracks following heavy rains, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis confirmed on Saturday.

A special train has been arranged for all the passengers from Kalyan to Kolhapur, CM Fadnavis said while expressing his gratitude to NDRF, Army, Navy, Airforce, Police and Railways for their coordinated rescue operation.

Chief spokesperson of the Central Railway Sunil Udasi said all 1,050 passengers were taken to a safe spot, PTI reported.

All necessary arrangements like food, transportation, and shelter have been made at Sahyadri Mangal Karayalay. Besides, ambulances with 37 doctors and gynaecologists have been deployed for an emergency.

“Due to a raging Ulhas river, the Mahalaxmi Express train got stuck at Chamtoli within the limits of Badlapur due to flooded tracks. The passengers were safe, but the only concern was a rise in water level on the tracks,” Resident Deputy Collector (Thane) Shivaji Patil had earlier said.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah applauded the “exemplary” effort of the rescue teams, including the NDRF, Navy, IAF and Railway and state administration, adding the Centre was closely monitoring the entire operation. “Teams of NDRF, Navy, IAF, Railways&state administration have safely rescued all the 700 passengers stranded on Mahalaxmi Express near Mumbai. We were closely monitoring the entire operation. Kudos to the rescue teams for their exemplary effort,” Shah said.

At least 500 passengers have been rescued so far by teams of NDRF, IAF and Indian Navy. (Source: ANI)

A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) arrived at the location where Mahalaxmi Express was held up. Eight flood rescue teams from the Navy including three diving teams had been mobilised with rescue material, inflatable boats and life jackets. A Sea King helicopter was also deployed with divers equipped with auto inflatable craft for deployment in the area as advance assessment party. Western Naval Command is keeping a close watch on the situation and is in constant touch with the state administration to respond as required and provide necessary assistance in flood-affected areas.

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CM Fadnavis had instructed the Chief Secretary to personally monitor rescue operations. “Seven Navy teams, two helicopters of Indian Air Force, two military columns were deployed along with the local administration. Two more military columns are on the way,” said a CMO Maharashtra statement. Railway Protection Force and City police first reached the site and distributed biscuits and water to the stranded passengers.

Thane: A birds eye view shows Mahalaxmi Express bound for Kohlapur from Mumbai stranded following heavy monsoon rain near Badlapur in Thane district. (PTI photo)

Central Railways had issued an advisory to the stranded passengers to not get down from the train. “Please don’t get down from train. Train is the safe place. Staff, RPF and City Police is in train to look after your well being. Please wait for advice from NDRF and other disaster management authorities,” the Central Railway said in a statement on Twitter.

mahalaxmi express, mahalaxmi express stuck, mahalaxmi express latest news, mahalaxmi express update, mahalaxmi express 17412, mahalaxmi express 17412 news, mahalaxmi express live status, mahalaxmi express train status, mumbai rains, mahalaxmi express schedule, mahalaxmi express news, mahalaxmi express mumbai news Mahalaxmi Express rescue operation: 8 flood rescue teams from Navy including 3 diving teams mobilised with rescue material, inflatable boats and life jackets. A Sea King helicopter also sent with divers for deployment in the area as advance assessment party. (Source: Twitter/@indiannavy)

The Central Railway also released videos of RPF and Police officers assuring the passengers of their safety.

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Mumbai has been witnessing heavy rainfall since Friday which has caused waterlogging in several parts of the city and suburbs. The weather department also issued an orange alert signifying that authorities should be alert and ready to take necessary action. “Heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely in Mumbai, Thane, and Raigad districts, while extremely heavy rainfall is likely at isolated places in Palghar district,” an IMD official told PTI.

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