Mumbai freak accident: Railways orders probe

Taking suo moto action, Commissioner of Railway Safety (Western Circle) will conduct an inquiry into the freak accident injuring two passengers at Ghatkopar railway station on November 16. The probe will be conducted by P.S.Baghel, CRS (Western Circle) on November 20 and 21.

Atul Rane, Chief Public Relations Officer, Central Railway, confirmed that a CRS inquiry has been ordered.  

Of the two passengers, Arjun Ishwar Shinde (27), a resident of Dombivli, continues to be in a critical state at Sion Hospital. Passenger Rajan Nair (40), a resident of Kalyan, is recuperating at Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar.

On November 16, Shinde and Nair were standing towards the Kalyan end of platform 3 at Ghatkopar station when they were hit by a steel plate while luxury train Maharaja Express was passing by the station. During a primary inspection by railway officers, a broken earthing strip - an iron plate that connects the Overhead Electric (OHE) pole and the rails- was discovered near the site.

"A loose steel plate hit the passengers while Maharaja Express was passing by Ghatkopar station. It appears that the broken earthing strip hit the passing train, damaging one of the steel plates. When the train was insepcted by engineers later at Khadavali station, a steel plate was found missing," said a senior railway officer, on anonymity.

"Vibration from passing trains or improper maintenance work could have caused the earthing plate to break. The exact reason will be ascertained in the CRS inquiry," added the officer.

The steel plate, which covers the air spring equipment seen between two wheels, hit Shinde and Nair on their head and resulted in grievous injuiries.

Describing Shinde's condition, Dr. Avinash Supe, Dean, Sion Hospital said, "Shinde, who was admitted in the hospital on Saturday, continues to remain in a critical condition. He underwent craniotomy and is currently on a ventilator in the trauma surgical ward." Craniotomy is a brain surgery which involves removal of brain flap.

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