Miraculous escape for train passengers

A major tragedy was averted when the Hubli-Kochuveli Express bound for Kochuveli survived a sabotage attempt after it hit two thick coconut logs placed on the railway track in Aloor near Chalakudy, at 1.30 a.m. on Thursday, police and railway officials said.

This was the second such incident in less than a week. A few persons had been arrested in the first case that happened in Thrissur on Sunday.

The men, migrant labourers from Odisha, said they did this under the influence of alcohol, but officials are not convinced. Some migrant labourers from the North have been detained for interrogation in connection with the second incident as well.

According to officials, the train broke the engine compressor valves and damaged its air break pipe, but there was no casualty.

“Though the driver applied the brakes, it rammed into the wooden hurdle, which got entangled under the eng-ine,’’ an official at the Chal-akkudy railway station said.

Following the hit, the coconut logs broke into many pieces and the train dragged them for around 300 metres through the track. After the attempts by the train guards to take out the log pieces from the engine failed, the train was shifted to the nearest station, Chalakudy.

Another loco-engine was called in from Ernakulam and the train services were normalised after replacing the engine and clearing the debris from the line by 4.20 am. Six trains including the Amritha Express(Palakkad-Thiruvanathapuram), Jaya-nthi Janatha Express (Mumbai-Kanyakumari) and Chennai Thiruvanatha-puram Superfast were delayed by two hours.

Confirming the incident, Southern Railway Manager (Eranakulam Area) Ashok Kumar P.L. said some miscr-eants had placed the cocon-ut log on the track between Vellanchira and Aloor. “This is second incident in less than a week and three persons have been arrested in this connection,” he said.

A police team, led by Chalakudy DySP P.K. Renjan has begun a detailed probe into the case. “Prelim-inary investigations revealed the logs were brought from an isolated property nearby and we have already interrogated five migrant laborers hailing from Central-North India in this regard’’, said an official at the Kodakara police station.

On Sunday, the Kochuveli-Porbander Express survived a sabotage attempt as its loco pilot spotted five boulders placed on the track near the Chembisserry over bridge in Thrissur. The local police arrested two Odisha natives identified as Hatya Behra, 21, and Ranjan, 20, who said it was that they were drunk.

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