- The driver was swift enough to hit the brakes when he suspected that the railway line ahead was damaged.
- So, by the time the train reached the spot, its speed had been reduced.
- Incidentally, the spot where the derailment occurred, the railways had carried out pre-monsoon work and work on a third line.
Had it not been for the foresighted driver of the Nagpur-Mumbai Duranto Express, the fate of 1200 lives would have been different. True, that the train's engines and the nine coaches derailed near Asangaon, but no one was badly hurt. According to railway officials, a landslide due to heavy rains in the Kasara Ghats section has washed away a portion of the tracks, leading to the derailment.
However, the Central Railway officials credit motorman Ravindra Singh's presence of mind for averting the tragedy. The incident occurred at 6:36 am between Asangaon and Vasind railway stations. An official said Singh hit the brakes upon realising that a portion of the track was damaged. So, by the time the train reached the spot, its speed had been reduced. Incidentally, the spot where the derailment occurred, the railways had carried out pre-monsoon work and work on a third line. During the process, a portion of the hill was cut. However, railway officials refuted this as a possible reason for the accident and said that it was because of the natural calamity. Speaking to the Times of India, one of the officials said, "It can be seen that soil erosion up to 50 feet occurred on the hillside.Loose soil and boulders fell on the track, leading to the incident."
While it took 2 hours for the rescue equipment to reach the spot, locals and the villagers nearby had already started helping the trapped passengers. They were also serving tea, snacks and water to the stranded passengers. Sunil Udasi, chief spokesperson of Central Railway, said, "I would like to reiterate that the driver did an excellent job of applying emergency brakes. As the train's coaches were constructed with advanced LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) technology , they did not pile up on top of one another."
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 7:05 PM