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Railway man loses leg in freak mishap

A railway track maintenance staff was badly injured when a big tree fell on the coach that was heading to clear trees and boulders from the track on the Nilgiri Mountain Train path on Tuesday morning. Railway officials said that the fracture he suffered below his right knee was so bad that the leg had to be amputated.

Railway man loses leg in freak mishap
The coach that was badly damaged as a tree fell on it near Kallar in The Nilgiris


Heavy winds and rain on Saturday night resulted in landslides. Many trees fell on the railway track on the path of the NMR and on the road between Mettupalayam and Coonoor. While the trees on the road were removed the next day, many trees and boulders fell on the track, forcing suspension of train service. 

The service between Mettupalayam and Coonoor was suspended till Tuesday as a few more boulders and trees had to be removed. Around 8.30 am on Tuesday when the engine and BT coach (used for transporting railway staff for track maintenance works) were chugging out of a tunnel between Kallar and Hillgrove, the accident took place. 

A senior railway official said that as the tree was standing on loose soil, it could not withstand the vibration caused by the train’s engine and it fell on the coach. Trackman Marudhachalam, who was in it, was badly injured in the accident and suffered severe blood loss. Fellow employee Syed Ibrahim (a brakesman) escaped with minor injuries, while other staff escaped unhurt. 

Railway engineering division personnel, who rushed to the spot, took Marudhachaam to a leading private hospital in Coimbatore. “There was no hospital with facilities that could attend to his injuries. It took two hours to reach the hospital during which he had lost a lot of blood. Doctors said that there is no other option but to amputate his leg below the right knee,” the railway official said and added that Marudhachalam was out of danger. 

Since the clearing works from the track could not be completed on Tuesday the Nilgiri Mountain Train service is likely to be suspended between Mettupalayam and Coonoor for the fourth day in succession on Wednesday.

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