In a shocking incident early on Tuesday, four persons travelling on a crowded suburban train at the St Thomas Mount station died after hitting a hard surface. According to initial reports, a few of them were travelling on the footboard and they fell off the train with other passengers. Atleast five were injured in the freak accident and have been rushed to the hospital. They are currently in a critical state.
Speaking to TNM, one Railways official said, "When the train was arriving at St.Thomas Mount, 10 passengers were hanging out of the door. They seem to have hit a wall or a pole and fallen down. Train was extremely crowded. Four people have died, others have been rushed to a hospital for medical attention."
The incident took place at 8.25 am on Tuesday.
A press release by the Railways states, "At St. Thomas Mount station the shoulders bags of male commuters travelling on footboard hit against the Railway cement fence and 10 passengers have fallen down at 8.25 hrs from the running train (T.No.40701 – Chennai Beach – Tirumalpur Passenger) between Km17/2 – 17/4. Immediately Govt Railway Police Personnel, Mambalam and Railway Protection Force Personnel, St Thomas Mount, attended the spot. 6 injured passengers were rushed by 108 Ambulance to Government Hospitals at Royapettah and GH Chennai. 3 have been reported as dead on the spot. One Passenger expired on the way to the Hospital."
The St Thomas Mount station lies along the Chennai Beach–Chengalpattu section of the Chennai Suburban Railway Network near Guindy. Being located along important businesses and industries, it is used by thousands of commuters daily.
Footage from the station showed a jam packed platform as well as train with several people hanging out of the carriages, holding on with the support of the pole at the entrance to the train.
People, mostly men, can be seen alighting the congested compartments as the train reaches the platform in order to make way for others to go in. They then get back on the train and hang precariously out of the carriage.
In May this year, a 45-year-old woman Deivanai Govindan was run over by an MRTS train as she was attempting to cross tracks at the Perungudi MRTS station.
The overcrowded network was shut down earlier this month between 9:50 am and 4 pm over the July 14- 15 weekend to facilitate engineering work on the line.