Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The railways have shouted themselves hoarse about the dangers of travelling atop trains. But commuters seem to prefer courting danger rather than missing their train, sometimes with fatal consequences.
On Monday evening, three teenagers travelling on the roof of a local train were electrocuted near Khadwali station. Two of them were so seriously burnt that they are battling for life at Thane Civil Hospital. The third boy was taken to Rukminibai Hospital in Kalyan.
Anil Jadhav, 15, Rajkishor Chauhan, 15 and Rahul Sharma, 15, all residents of Sion Koliwada, had gone for a picnic to Khadwali river.
While returning to Mumbai, the youngsters chose to travel on the roof of the Kasara-Mumbai local even though the train was empty.
An eyewitness said, “There was no reason for the youngsters to climb on to the roof as the train was empty. They were in the picnic mood and probably wanted to be adventurous. They were shouting and yelling on the roof.”
However, the boys seemed unaware of the alternate current on trains between Titwala and Kasara.
“The suburban trains in Mumbai run on 1,500 kV of direct current, whereas certain portions like between Titwala and Kasara and Borivli and Virar have been converted to alternate current measuring 45,000 kV. Such a huge voltage automatically repels anyone coming near it,” a railway official said.
This is exactly what happened to the boys. The strong current burned them horribly and flung them into the air. Rajkishor and Rahul suffered 80 to 90 per cent burns while Anil has comparatively fewer burns.
Train services on the route were disrupted after the incident.
“The circuit tripped after the accident and technicians had to be called to the spot to restart the train. The railways keep on announcing the hazards of travelling on rooftops of trains, yet people completely ignore our warnings,” a railway spokesperson said.
• " The railways keep on announcing the hazards of travelling on rooftops of trains, yet people totally ignore our warnings" – Railway spokesperson