At least 15 passengers were feared dead and over 100 injured after the Chennai Beach-Vellore Cantonment MEMU train proceeding towards Vellore rammed into the stationary Arakkonam-Katpadi EMU passenger train near Arakkonam,Tamil Nadu on Tuesday night.
The injured have been rushed to the Arakonam and Vellore government hospitals, as well as hospitals in Kancheepuram.
Many passengers are trapped in the 3 bogies that derailed. Heavy rain and darkness are hampering rescue work.More than 100 police officials and firemen are involved in the rescue efforts. Navy personnel and two teams of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) are also at the site.The accident happened between Arakkonam and Chiteri, about 80 kilometres from Chennai.
Sources say the Arakonam-Katpadi local train was waiting for a signal at Chitheri railway station after it had left Arakonam at 9.20 pm. An EMU from Chennai Beach to Vellore Cantonment, which had left Chennai at 8 pm, went on the same track and rammed into the waiting passenger train at about 9.25 pm. In the impact, two bogies of the Arakonam local train and one bogie of the EMU derailed.
Railway officials suspect a signal malfunction, but say it is too early to speculate on what caused the accident. The driver of the EMU and the guard of the stationary train among the dead.
Many outbound trains from Chennai to Karnataka, Kerala and western Tamil Nadu have been cancelled. Incoming trains on the same route are also unlikely to reach Chennai in the morning.
Chennai Helpline numbers: 044 25357398, 044- 25347771, 09244919572