Mock drill held near Tirunelveli on train accidents

Move to check preparedness of railway personnel

mock drillMadurai (MDU):  The Madurai Division of Southern Railway conducted the annual mock drill at Thaazhaiyooththu near here on Tuesday to check the preparedness of its men in case of a train accident, rescue of victims and speedy restoration of rail traffic in the affected section.

Over 100 personnel including medical and paramedical staff and a 140-tonne crane, ‘Pandyan,’ brought from Madurai for this exercise, were involved in the drill under the supervision of A.K. Rastogi, Divisional Railway Manager, Madurai.

After a discarded coach was mechanically derailed by a Cowans Sheldon crane, imported from England, the rescue team swung into operation.

While the mechanics of the rescue team cut open the roof and side portions of the derailed coach with sophisticated gadgets powered by the portable generators, the medical team shifted the ‘injured’ to the nearby hospitals after administering first-aid.

Bodies of the ‘deceased’ were sent to the hospital for a post-mortem.

During an informal chat with the reporters, Mr. Rastogi, supervising the ‘rescue operation,’ said the ‘golden rules of rescue operation’ such as commencing the rescue operation as early as possible by mobilising men and material at the accident site, evacuation of the injured to the hospital, removal of derailed coaches, restoration of traffic in the affected section, informing the victims’ relatives about the mishap and bringing them to the site / hospital for identifying the victims were checked during this exercise.

“All the departments concerned reacted to the accident in a commendable manner,” said Mr. Rastogi, who selected the Thaazhaiyooththu railway station with a sprawling yard for this exercise due to its proximity to Tirunelveli Railway Junction, from where the Breakdown Special was sent to the ‘accident site.’