Local train derailment: Quick thinking by motormen avoided head-on collision

Operators of the derailed local and the train coming from the opposite end took steps and averted a major tragedy

A potential disaster was avoided on Thursday, thanks to some wise moves by the motormen of both the Up and Down trains, when the former the Kasara-CST local derailed near Titwala around 2.50 pm.

S K Mishra (left) alerted M D Kulkarni (right), motorman of the Thane-Kasara train, with flashlights

S K Mishra was driving the train that derailed, while M D Kulkarni was in-charge of the train coming from the opposite end, a Kasara-bound local train from Thane.

Eyewitnesses at the accident site said things would’ve been much worse, had Mishra not alerted the driver of the train coming in from the opposite end. Mishra got down from his cabin as soon as his train derailed, and alerted Kulkarni with flashlights and red flags.

“Both the trains would have collided and there would have been many more in the dead and injured list. The motorman tried to control and save passengers at his level best,” said Sulabh Kumar, who was in the Thane-Kasara train.

Kulkarni says this was his first such experience in his 12 years of service, although he has been with Indian Railway for the last 23 years. “It would have been like the Vidarbha train collision near Kasara in 2012,” added Kulkarni.

Still in hospital
Mishra’s blood pressure shot up after the incident and he had to be admitted to the ICU of Kalyan Railway Hospital. He has now been shifted to the general ward. However, the guard of the train, R N Dubey, is still in the ICU of Fortis Hospital in Mulund with head injuries.

Railway authorities are planning to reward both the motormen, for applying their minds and saving lives. Atul Rane, chief PRO, Central Railway, said, “They have done a good job and tried to save hundreds of passengers lives. We are hoping for their quick recovery.”

Vidarbha Express mishap at Kasara
On July 19, 2012, the Mumbai-Gondia Vidarbha Express collided with a Kasara-CST local that had derailed between Kasara and Umbermali around 9.30 pm. Six coaches of the local train had jumped the tracks due to a landslide around 9.30 pm.

The Express train had left CST at 7.15 pm and was speeding towards Kasara, rammed into the derailed coaches. The engine driver of the train tried avoiding the derailed bogies and applied the brakes suddenly, which caused the engine and three bogies to go off the tracks. Two people were killed and 71 were injured in the incident.

>> S K Mishra was driving the derailed local train
>> M D Kulkarni was at the wheel of the train coming from the opposite end
>> Mishra alerted Kulkarni with flashlights and red flags

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