Four railway gangmen died after they were mowed down by a long-distance train near Kalyan railway station yesterday. The incident occurred at 9.45 am when the group of five was carrying out maintenance work on the tracks.
Railway sources said that three men were asked to grease the tracks and other allied parts, while one was fetching water for these men. The fifth person was the ‘lookout’ man, whose job is to blow the whistle and caution the men to move aside when a train is approaching.
“Since the lookout man was the first to be knocked down by the train, the three men could not be alerted. The three men were subsequently run over by the incoming train,” said a Central Railway (CR) official. Authorities later said that Koyna Express, bound for Kolhapur, mowed them down. A CR spokesperson said that there was no mega block planned near Kalyan at the time of the incident.
“The four gangmen were working on the down fast line near Patripul in Kalyan. Two trains were subsequently delayed for 15-20 minutes due to the accident,” said AK Singh, PRO, CR. CR authorities have ordered an enquiry into the incident. Meanwhile, the railway union has blamed the railway management lapses for the deaths. Union members say the lack of safety measures has put the lives of gangmen at risk who have to walk on the tracks to carry out maintenance work.
The deceased have been identified as Jaichand Gangaram, resident of Ghaoti village; Dattaram Deojee, resident of Ghatkopar; Harinana Gabale, resident of Asangaon and Pandurang Ghare, resident of Karjat. Their bodies were taken to Rukminibai hospital for a postmortem and several of their co-workers gathered at the hospital. An ex-gratia of Rs 15,000 will be paid immediately to the family of victims, apart from other help promised.