Bhayander-Churchgate Local Train accident at Churchgate takes a big twist

Reports claim that Railway staff played with brakes after mishap to save driver. A video showing some railway employees entering the motorman’s cabin, some time after the mishap, and allegedly trying to apply brakes has been submitted to the four-member committee investigating the accident

Mumbai CCG: The inquiry into the June 28 incident, where a Bhayander-Churchgate train rammed into the buffer of platform number 3 at Churchgate and climbed onto the concourse, has taken a big twist.

A video showing some railway employees entering the motorman’s cabin, some time after the mishap, and allegedly trying to apply brakes has been submitted to the four-member committee investigating the accident.

The video was apparently taken as part of a normal practice, so that it helps investigations later on, said officials.

These employees allegedly entered the motorman’s cab after security officials had cordoned off the area. It was further alleged that the key of the train was also pulled by these employees, thus shutting the power supply.

According to officials, releasing the brakes after the incident has the potential of derailing investigations as it would leave a grey area as to when the motorman of the train applied the brakes.

The timing of the application of brakes is crucial as it plays a part in finding out whether it was a mechanical failure (malfunctioning of brakes) or human error (motorman failing to apply brakes in time).

“The fact that these employees entered the driving cab after the area was cordoned off itself shows that there was something amiss. The basic principle one has to follow after any incident is to ensure that the evidence available is not touched or disturbed in anyway. This tampering of equipment inside the cab after the accident clearly shows mala fide intent,” said a senior railway official.

“This issue has become murky and any attempt to derail investigations and prevent the truth from coming out would be a disservice to the commuters who take their daily train journey, content in the thought that the railway’s extensive safety mechanism is protecting their ride,” said a senior railway official.

On June 28, the 90370 Bhayander-Churchgate fast local navigated a crossover 133/134 from the slow line to line 3 at Churchgate station at a speed of 35 km per hour, went past signal S12, around 551 metres outside the station, and crashed into the hydraulic buffer of platform 3.

The train, due to the speed and the mismatch between the hydraulic buffer and the train’s buffer, climbed onto the concourse, badly damaging the front coach. Four people were injured in the incident.

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