Four hours into mega block, train kills four CR labourers at Kurla

The motorman honked constantly and flashed headlights, but in the confusion, the train hit the labourers

When they started their mega 72-hour block, the Central Railway (CR) would not have imagined that they would lose four of their employees within hours. A Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)-bound local train hit the labourers working on the tracks in the wee hours of yesterday.

Work at CST platform 2 has already begun in full force and the authorities were removing the overhead cables, breaking the platforms and building extensions. PIC/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Work at CST platform 2 has already begun in full force and the authorities were removing the overhead cables, breaking the platforms and building extensions. PIC/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

The incident occurred at around 5.30 am between Kurla and Vidyavihar stations. Sources said there were six contract labourers in total, working to maintain rail tracks, who were walking on the tracks.

The four deceased labourers were walking ahead while the other two were walking behind them. Sources said there were around 20-25 contract labourers who were crossing tracks haphazardly. “They were running on tracks as the train approached, trying to find some space between the two rail lines. The motorman honked constantly and flashed headlights as well, but in the confusion, these four labourers got hit by the train,” said a CR official.

Temporary accommodation at CST for labourers working for the  72-hour mega block.
Temporary accommodation at CST for labourers working for the 72-hour mega block.

This Karjat-CST slow train stopped after the motorman hit the brakes, but by then it was too late. “As per the primary information, the four contract labourers were crossing tracks and met with an accident between Kurla and Vidyavihar by a CST bound train,” said Rupali Ambure, DCP (Central), Government Railway Police (GRP).

There was still some time to go before sunrise and hence the labourers might have gotten confused while crossing, officials said. They were returning to their shanties along the tracks after completing their night duties, located just meters away from the accident spot.

Sources said that these labourers were later going to be transferred for the 72-hour mega block at CST.

Meanwhile at CST station, swathes of labourers are working, while few of them are sleeping on platform 1, where temporary arrangements have been made.

These labourers will be working till the night of February 21-22 up to 1.30am. “At least 200 labourers will work on Friday and during weekend we will get labourers from other sections too, which would take their numbers to 400,” said Amitabh Ojha, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), CR.

All the labourers from across Mumbai suburban from CR will also be making their way to CST.

Work at CST platform 2 has already begun in full force with the authorities removing the overhead cables, breaking the platforms and building new extensions. Tracks are being removed and new ones are being laid. Heavy machinery was also seen on the tracks.

On Saturday and Sunday, the train services on Harbour lines between Wadala and CST stations will remain shut while the Main line and Trans Harbour will work as usual.

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