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Chennai train deaths: Was the signal post too close to the railway track? Police suspect

Days after the death of three people from falling off EMU trains in Chennai, speculations are rife about the proximity of the signal post to the railway track, being a reason for the tragedy.

The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), Southern Region, KR Manoharan will be investigating the accident and how it led to the death of three people.

On Thursday, the express train was running between Palavanthangal and St Thomas Mount railway station, when the bag of a 20-year-old man named Manikandan got caught on a ladder attached to the signal post near the railway track. Pulled off the train, Manikandan grabbed another passenger, who in turn held onto another passenger. With each falling passenger grabbing another person for support, in a matter of seconds, seven people were pulled off the fast-moving train. Two died on the spot and one died in the hospital, while four others were seriously injured. 

Railway authorities claim that it was due to passenger negligence but there are also speculations about the signal post’s proximity to the track. Sources from The New Indian Express said that the signal post must be removed from that place. They were informed that it was not possible to get the signal post removed, so it was suggested to remove the ladder attached to the post.

C Sudhakar, friend of one of the deceased in the accident, said that the signal post was very close to the railway line. He added that there have been many accidents at this particular spot over the years and wants the officials to take corrective measures, reported TNIE.

However, railway officials told TNIE that the signal post was far off from the railway track. There needs to be a distance of 2.15m between the signal post and the track. But in this case, the distance was 2.4m and the ladders have been asked to be removed but no final decision has been taken, said a source.

This story was first reported by Venkatesan Parthsarathy of The New Indian Express.

Source: The News Minute