Four men, employed as contractual labour by the Central Railways to help with the extension work of a railway platform at Dockyard Road station, were run over by a CST-bound train between Kurla and Vidyavihar stations early Friday morning. The four men were part of a group of six people returning home around 5.30 am, two of whom managed to jump out of the tracks at the last moment, saving themselves.
Vijay Sonawane, one of the two who managed to save himself, said that he and Dadu Adiwate along with the four others — Shravan Vare (18), Kashinath Bhaje (19), Gokul Kokale (18) and Nanu Sawant (27) — had gone to Dockyard Road railway station for a two-hour block. This exercise is part of the extension of Harbour Line platforms being carried out by the Central Railways to accommodate 12-car trains on the line. The work, which began at 2 am, went on till 4 am.
After work, the six, who were part of a larger group of 16 employees, then took a train home, Sonawane said. “We got off at Kurla railway station as we reside at a shed abutting the railway lines between Kurla and Vidyavihar railway stations. From there, we walk up to our houses since the shed is adjacent to the railway lines and it takes us about 10 minutes to reach home,” Sonawane said.
While the four who died were walking ahead, we were behind them, he said, adding that they work for the railways across several stretches and earn Rs 325 per day. We came to the city around 10 days ago to work on the Dockyard Road station, he said.
“As we were walking, we saw one train on the track that we were on and another train going in the opposite direction. We had not slept all night and were disoriented. Neither of the trains had lights on, nor did they honk. Before we knew it, the four were run over by the train. Adiwate and I managed to jump out just in the nick of time,” Sonawane recalled.
While three bodies were found strewn on either side of the tracks, one body had to be retrieved from a nearby drain.
Government Railway Police (GRP) DCP Rupali Ambure said that the four were rushed to the Rajawadi hospital, where they were declared dead. A railway official said that the incident was unfortunate but trespassing, especially in the dark, was all the more dangerous and should be avoided.
“Train lights are normally on, but even by the time the four would have appeared in the light, it would have been too late,” the official said.
Narendra Patil, Chief PRO of Central Railways, said, “Depending upon the probe carried out by the police a decision on whether any compensation can be provided will be taken.”
The deceased hails from Igatpuri. While Sawant was married and is survived by his three children, the other three were unmarried.