Instead of taking the foot overbridge, 55-year-old Subramanian reportedly cut across the tracks at Perungalathur station while sending a message on his phone.

Chennai local train runs over man who was using cell phone while crossing trackImage for representation
news Accident Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 09:32

A 55-year-old school teacher died after being hit by a local train in Perungalathur near Chennai, according to reports.

The incident happened on Tuesday evening, when Subramanian reached Perungalathur station from Urapakkam on a local train. After getting down at Perungalathur, he was trying to get out of the station. Instead of taking the foot overbridge to cross to the other side, he reportedly chose to cut across the tracks while sending a message to his friend over the phone. As he tripped and fell on the track, a local train which was entering the station slowly hit him.

The station master and others rescued Subramanian and rushed him to a private hospital in Potheri, 13 kilometres away where he was declared dead on arrival. The body was later sent to the Chromepet government hospital for an autopsy.

The police told the Times of India that Subramanian was a regular on the route and frequently met his friend in Perungalathur. His wife reportedly told the police officers that her husband wanted to hire a plumber to work on the new house they were building in East Tambaram.

In a similar incident in June 2018, a 19-year-old woman was hit by a superfast train while crossing the track in Ambattur station near Chennai. She was reportedly on her way to work, talking over the phone while cutting across the railway tracks.

According to official data from the Indian Railways, around 50,000 people lost their lives on railway tracks after being hit by trains between 2015 and 2017. While Northern Railways topped the list with 7,908 deaths, Southern Railways grabbed the second spot with 6,149 deaths reported on railway tracks. Trespassing on railway premises is a punishable offence according to the Railways Act, 1989, which includes walking near the tracks, cutting across railway tracks etc. As of September 2018, 1,20,923 persons were arrested and prosecuted by Railway Protection Force (RPF) for trespassing on the railway premises.

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