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CRS report blames both railway engineers, passengers for Mount station accident
The railway safety commissioner has debunked the claim of Southern Railway (SR) and fixed accountability on railway engineers as well as negligent passengers who had travelled on the footboard for the fatal accident which claimed five lives here on July 24.
Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), southern circle, KA Manoharan, who conducted a statutory inquiry, has presented a preliminary report of his findings to the government. A brief note of the CRS report, which was released by the government, has classified the ‘accident’ under the category of “error in engineering and maintenance” and “error in passenger’s method of travel”.
Five persons died and four were grievously injured after they fell from the Tirumalpur-bound slow suburban train from Chennai Beach at St Thomas Mount station on the ‘A’ line (platform no 4) at 8.26am on July 24.
Provisional findings of the statutory inquiry into the accident has revealed that the incident was caused “due to passengers hanging/leaning outside the coach dimensions coming in contact with infringing concrete pale fencing at St Thomas Mount station”. The preliminary inquiry report has also described passenger error as “projecting outside the dimensions of the coach while travelling”.
SR, which squarely blamed passengers for the fatality and was cautious not to use the term ‘accident’, chose the word ‘incident’ in its official briefings issued after the accident. Ironically, the same railway authorities went for a fresh safety audit and even made some structural corrections on the Beach-Chengalpet stretch.
A concrete fence (identical to the one that killed five people at Mount Station) was razed at Pazhavanthangal station. Railway authorities had also commenced track realignment at the St Thomas Mount station to increase the distance between the train and nearest infringement along the fast line (platform no 4) at the station.
Operation of suburban trains on the fast line on the Beach–Chengalpet section remains suspended since the St Thomas Mount accident.