Six injured after man spills acid in Ambernath-bound local train

The 62-year-old was carrying a bottle of floor-cleaning acid, when he saw vapours arise from the capped bottle’s mouth; panicked, he tossed it out of the train, but ended up dropping it inside; he and five others suffered burns due to contact with the corrosive

A freak incident in a local train yesterday landed six people in a hospital, when they suffered burns after acid spilled on their bodies. A passenger had been carrying the chemical in a bottle and accidentally dropped it. No passenger was seriously injured.

The incident occurred around 2 pm in an Ambernath-bound local train. The passenger, Narayan Adappa Shetty (62), had been carrying floor-cleaning acid to his house.

Narayan Adappa Shetty
Narayan Adappa Shetty was carrying home the floor-cleaning acid to his house

A retired worker from one Shloka Bar and Restaurant in Mulund, Shetty had gone to the bar to meet a few colleagues. Noticing a can filled with floor-cleaning acid, Shetty thought of taking it home to clean his house, filled the liquid in a plastic bottle, and boarded the local.

As soon as the train reached Kopri Bridge near Thane, Shetty saw vapours rising from the bottle and got scared. He tried throwing the bottle out of the coach but accidentally dropped it inside, injuring himself and his co-passengers, who came in contact with the spilled corrosive.

Vishwanath Gujari (26), a passenger, recalled that nobody realised what had happened. “The train was between Mulund and Thane when we heard a woman scream. There was a pungent odour in the entire compartment and several people started complaining of a burning sensation due to a liquid dropped by one of the passengers. At first, it seemed like an acid attack, but we later realised that the man who was carrying the bottle was a senior citizen and he got injured during the incident as well,” said Gujari. It was he who took the injured passengers (see box) to the Thane Civil Hospital.

Doctors at the hospital confirmed that the injuries varied from 10 to 15 per cent burns and the condition of patients wasn’t critical. “We will keep them under observation for a couple of days, as they have suffered chemical burns. They will be discharged soon,” said the doctor.

The Thane Government Railway Police (GRP) nabbed Shetty at Thane station. He was first taken to hospital as his legs had suffered burns, and was discharged after treatment. The GRP thought it was ‘a maniac attacking people with acid’, but they later learnt that it was an accident that took place without Shetty’s knowledge. But Shetty was arrested for the incident. “We have booked him under Section 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code. He is currently in our custody,” said a Thane GRP official.

Unlucky ones
Dinesh Singh, an auto driver, was returning home with his wife, Saraswati, from Rajawadi Hospital when the acid spilt on the couple. “I had gone to the hospital for a check-up. I only realised what had happened when the chemical splashed on my legs, hands and head.

Dinesh Singh
Dinesh Singh

Thankfully my eyes were somehow saved and didn’t come in contact with the liquid,” said Saraswati. Vijay Varankar (19), Sayaji Phanse (51), Sunil Phanse (32), Dinesh Singh (42) and Saraswati Singh (40) were the passengers who came in direct contact with the acid and suffered burn injuries. Sayaji and his son Sunil, who were returning home from a family function, suffered less severe injuries on their hands and legs. Sunil was discharged the same day. The unluckiest of the lot was Varankar, who was standing closest to Shetty.

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