Another commuter falls from train, dies

Jan 29, 2012, 07:56 IST | Nivedita Dargalkar
Yet again, passenger falls from local at Dadar into the large gap between train footboard and the platform 
When a 57 year-old Western Railway employee succumbed to his wounds after he fell from a local train into the large gap that exists between the train footboard and the platform, while attempting to board the train, he joined a long list of citizens who have had similar accidents.

Maria Mallakhappa died after fracturing his rib cage and skull. He was
trying to board a train at Dadar's Platform No. 2.
Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

The accident took place on Thursday at the crowded Platform Number two of Dadar station. Maria Mallakhappa, a master craftsman working for Mumbai Central car shed, was hurriedly boarding a Churchgate-bound train when the local started to move. He fell into the gap between the platform and the train and died after fracturing his rib cage and skull.

In 2011, at Dadar station alone, 10 people died after they fell into these large gaps. A GRP officer on the condition of anonymity said, "The new trains are higher whereas the platforms at the station were built as per the specifications of the old trains. As a result the platforms are much lower than the trains."

According to the official, the problem is especially grave at Platforms Number two, three and four at Dadar station, where the gap is much larger.

Speaking to Sunday MiD Day, Police Inspector (Crime) of Mumbai Central GRP Satish Gaikwad, said, "Taking into account the number of people who have lost their lives after falling into the large gaps and the problems encountered by senior citizens and disabled people (while alighting and boarding trains), we have sent several formal requests to the concerned authorities to increase the height of the platforms. Unfortunately all our requests have fallen on deaf ears. The authorities are taking unusually long to increase the height of platforms, a measure that should be adopted urgently to ensure safety of commuters."

Meanwhile, Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway Sharat Chandrayan claimed that the GRP figures of the number of people who have died at Dadar station by falling into gaps between platforms and trains is inaccurate. "We raised the height of platforms wherever necessary after inspection," he said.

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