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Engine and seven coaches derail as huge tree falls on engine near Pollachi

The engine and seven coaches of the Tirunelveli to Pune Dadar special train derailed at Ulavumarathu Thottam area near Vaalaikombu Naagoor between the Pollachi and Meenakshipuram railway stations in Coimbatore district at 9.50 p.m. on Tuesday as a more than 200-year-old tree (Ulavumaram).

Engine and seven coaches derail as huge tree falls on engine near Pollachi
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Coimbatore

Railway officials said that nobody got killed or badly injured in the incident as the engine took the major hit.

Railway officials said that the train that was supposed to start from Tirunelveli on Monday night started only at 7.20 a.m. on Tuesday. From Palani the train reached Pollachi railway station at 9.35 p.m. and started to Palakkad. At 9.50 p.m. the train was heading to Meenakshipuram when the incident took place.

Railway sources said that the loco pilot saw the huge tree slowly falling about 200 meters ahead and applied the brakes. The train slowed down and the engine took the load of the tree. With portions of the bark and branches dragged for close to 200 meters. This resulted in the engine and the seven coaches going off the track.

Ravi a farmer whose house and farmland is located close to place where the incident took place said that he heard the crashing sound of a tree and rushed out when he noticed the tree land on the train. "Luckily nobody got killed or badly injured as the coaches did not fall on their side," a railway official said.

A crane and recovery ban from Shoranur near Palakkad was brought to the place and began recovery operations the same night. Meanwhile an alternative engine was brought from Pollachi to separate the remaining 11 coaches that were on the track. They were taken back to Palakkad through Pollachi, Palani, Dindigul, Karur, Erode and  Coimbatore, from where they headed to Pune.

Traffic was affected on the Palani to Palakkad section due to the incident. Railway officials said that recovery works were fast underway and that the coaches would be brought back to the track on Wednesday. Efforts were on to clear the remains of the tree.

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