The number of deaths due to passengers falling off running trains as a result of overcrowding is alarming, with 569 dead and 1,456 injured till September this year alone. Four passengers fell off a packed moving train at around 8.50 am yesterday between Sion and Matunga. The victims were rushed to Sion Hospital where Kedar Narayan Yadav (33) and Satish Kuppya (15) succumbed to injuries, while Uday Prakash Sharma (31) and Zia Rasool (26) are stated to be in a critical condition. According to railway officials, the four passengers fell off seconds apart over a 25-metre stretch, just as the train left the platform at Sion railway station.
Satish, a resident of Dhobighat (Dharavi), boarded the CST bound train from Sion and was headed for his board exams at the Central Railway Employees’ School in Chinchpokli. He was standing at the footboard of the second-class compartment, as the coach was overcrowded.
Satish’s grieving father Kuppya Meralava, who is a construction site labourer, said, “We belong to Renigunta in Andhra Pradesh and moved to Mumbai three years ago. I wanted to return to my native place, but my son wanted to appear for the re-exams and complete his SSC. Today was his first paper, but he is no more.”
Kedar, who was a construction worker at a site in Grant Road, was the second person to succumb. His cousin Ashok Yadav said, “Kedar’s wife and three children live in Jharkhand. His family members are arriving to claim the body.”
Ziya has been put on ventilator support in the trauma ward of the hospital and is stated to be in critical condition. He has suffered from severe head injuries and a fracture to his left leg.
Aghaaz Rana, Ziya’s elder brother said, “My brother works as an electrician at Dadar and boarded the train at Mumbra as usual. We have not been able to see him as he is severely injured and the doctors have informed us that he is still unconscious.”
Kalyan resident Uday, who works as a security guard near Lokhandwala Complex sustained serious injuries below the pelvic area and suffered from de-gloving. A team of three specialists operated on him to ascertain whether the victim has suffered arterial vein damage. Uday is currently on ventilator support and is in an unconscious state in the trauma ward.
Dr Suleiman Merchant, dean of Sion Hospital said, “We are doing our best to stabilize the two surviving patients. All four were brought to the hospital in a very critical condition. We were unable to save the lives of two due to the severity of their injuries.”
PP Kirdat, senior inspector, Dadar GRP, said, “The four victims were traveling by a CST bound slow train. It is very unfortunate that two casualties occurred due to overcrowding of trains. We request commuters to avoid hanging out of moving trains to avoid such tragedies in future.”
Thousands fall off moving trains due to overcrowding and the maximum number of cases registered under this section have happened at stations like Kalyan, Kurla, Thane, Wadala, Dadar, Mumbai Central, Borivali and Vasai Road.