Quick thinking and action on the part of a few persons on platform one at Santacruz station yesterday, averted a potentially fatal mishap. Mohammed Wasim Akhtar (28), a native of Bihar, lost his footing while attempting to board a running train and fell through the gap between the train and the platform. Luckily for him, the guard aboard the train saw what had happened and quickly alerted the motorman via an internal alarm system and the train was brought to an immediate halt, leaving Mohammed with only minor injuries.
Mohammed had arrived in the city four months ago in search of employment. He along with his friend Shoaib Akhtar (26) reached Santacruz to attend an interview for an overseas job. Both men were returning to their home in Jogeshwari and were running to board a Borivali-bound train on platform one of Santacruz station around 10.30 am. Shoaib succeeded in boarding the moving train, but Mohammed’s foot slipped and he fell through the gap and landed on the tracks below.
“I had already boarded the train while Mohammed was behind me. In his haste to board the moving train, Mohammed lost his footing and slipped into the gap between the train and the platform,” Shoaib said. GRP constable Atmaram Sail said, after Mohammed fell through the gap the train continued to move ahead for about 10 metres. It was fortunate that the guard cabin was just three compartments away and the saw him slip through the gap.
K Ghanekar, the guard on the train said, “As the train lurched forward, the man tried to board the train in a hurry, but lost his grip and slipped. As I saw his legs go into the gap, I immediately informed the motorman with an alarm and applied the brake. Within seconds, the train came to a halt.”
Bharath Nikkam and his brother Suresh, both porters, were the first to rush to Mohammed’s aid. “I noticed that his leg was barely an arm’s length away from the wheel of the train. If the train had moved ahead by even a metre, the man would have at least lost a leg,” Suresh said.
The Nikkam brothers, GRP constables and Shoaib rushed Mohammed to Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle (W), where he was treated. A senior doctor at the hospital said, “The victim has sustained a fracture on his right knee and lacerations to the head.” Head GRP constable Ramesh Jagtap said that Mohammed escaped serious harm because of the presence of mind of the railway guard.