Kochi/Thiruvananthapuram | Passengers of a Mangaluru-bound express train escaped unhurt today when 12 of its bogies derailed amid heavy rains at Karukutty, about 45 km from Kochi, disrupting rail traffic in Kerala.
A possible major collision was also averted as the Chennai-Trivandrum train coming towards Ernakulam was stopped around 300 metres away from the accident site following a timely alert, a railway official said.
Railways ordered a probe into the mishap which occurred at 2.55 AM shortly after the Train 16347 Thiruvananthapuram- Mangaluru Express left Aluva station and was running at a slow speed.
There was no casualty and all passengers were safe and taken to Thrissur for their onward journey, Railways said.
Southern Railways Additional General Manager P K Mishra, who visited the accident site along with senior colleagues, told reporters there was no casualty.
One woman passenger complained of shoulder pain and was taken to a nearby hospital and after first aid she left for home, he said.
According to railway officials in Thiruvananthapuram, the derailed coaches have not detached or toppled, which is one of the reasons for passengers escaping unhurt.
A Railway official said major collision was averted as the Chennai-Trivandrum train coming towards Ernakulam was stopped on time.
“We alerted the incoming train and it was stopped about 300 metres away. This was an achievement of the railways safety measures,” the official said.
Announcing the probe, a railway spokesperson said a team headed by Southern Railway Chief Safety Officer was expected to start its work by this evening.
The derailment threw rail traffic on Ernakulam-Thrissur route out of gear with 21 trains being cancelled. Several others were terminated at Ernakulam and some long distance trains rescheduled.
Rail traffic towards Ernakulam was expected to be restored by 6 PM today and to Thrissur by tomorrow morning, Mishra said.
Railway officials from the state capital and elsewhere are overseeing the relief and rescue operations.
On the mishap, Mishra said it could be due to defect in track or in the coaches.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Railways have arranged special trains and buses for transporting stranded passengers, adding it was suspected there was some defect in the track.
Ramachandran, a ticket examiner, said he heard a loud noise at the time of the derailment and passengers panicked.
It was raining heavily when the incident occurred, he said.
A railways release announced helpline numbers: 9746769960, 9746761072, 0471-2320012.
Six long distance trains have been diverted via Tirunelveli, it said, adding Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) would ply buses between Thrissur and Ernakulam depending on the arrival and departure timings of trains.
Subscribe to our email newsletter.