Rail traffic was today disrupted on the Kalyan-Kasara section of the Central Railway with 12 trains cancelled and over a dozen others diverted after the Vidharbha Express collided with derailed bogies of a local train leaving one person dead and 13 injured.
Even as the restoration work on the affected track was on, six long-distance trains have been cancelled, nine trains have been short-terminated while over a dozen have been diverted on alternative routes, a railway spokesman said.
Six suburban train services between Chhattrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Kasara have also been cancelled besides local train services on the Asangaon—Kasara section, causing inconvenience to a lot of daily commuters on the route.
One person was killed, four were injured seriously, and nine sustained minor injuries when the Mumbai-Gondia Vidarbha Express collided with derailed bogies of a local train between Kasara and Umbermali last night.
The deceased has been identified as — Shakeela Quereshi (65), a resident of Titwala in Thane district, an official release issued by the Central Railway (CR) said.
The Railway Minister, Mr Mukul Roy, has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the dead, Rs 1 lakh each to the grievously injured and Rs 25,000 each to those who sustained simple injuries.
The Railways has also said that the expenses of those taking treatment at private hospitals would be borne by the department.
The cause of the accident is under investigation, the Commissioner Railway Safety, Central Circle, Mr Chetan Bakshi, said at the accident site.
Earlier, CR General Manager Mr Subodh Jain said that the route affected due to the collision will be fully restored by tomorrow morning.
“We will open one of the two lines by Friday midnight and the second one by Saturday morning,” Mr Jain said at the accident site.
According to Mr Jain, the accident occurred after the loco pilot of Vidarbha Express applied emergency brakes on spotting the derailed local train on the the tracks.
The time lag between the derailed local train coming to a halt and the collision was only 1.17 seconds, and the loco pilot did the best possible thing by applying the brakes, Mr Jain said, adding that this resulted in one of the bogeys of Vidarbha Express piling up on top of another.
Asked if anti-collision device could have averted the incident, Mr Jain said, “It is very unlikely for an automatic system to be effective even in the slim time lag. Manual intervention was the best possible action in such situation.”
A Central Railway statement said that the Mumbai-Bhusawal Passenger (51153) and its return service have been cancelled, while Gorakhpur LTT Superfast train (12541) will be terminated at Nashik Road and Secunderabad-Mumbai Devgiri Express (17058) will be terminated at Manmad today.
The relief staff of Central Railway and other agencies were working through the night to reestablish the rail-contact between Mumbai and a large part of central India.
An additional team from Bhusawal junction has also reached the site to assist in restoration work, railway officials said.
To get the twin lines on the Kalyan-Kasara section fully operational by tomorrow morning, the Railway staff has to remove the the mangled bogeys of Vidarbha Express as well as the local train and repair the damaged tracks and overhead equipment.
Additional cranes are scheduled to reach the site to lift the coaches lying on the track.
The engine of Vidarbha Express and some coaches of the suburban local train stuck on the track will be pushed aside to clear the way and restore rail movement, officials said.
The coaches which can be pulled out by rolling, will be removed by using engines, while the rest would be just pushed aside the tracks and would be lifted later on.
During the night, the relief workers were successful in bringing down the coach S-10, which had climbed on to another coach due to pressure created by the hard braking.
The work will continue through the day, officials on the spot said.