Services of Coromandel Express resumes 5 days after mishap

After five days of the ghastly train accident at Bahanaga Bazar in Odisha, Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express left Shalimar Railway station at 3:20 pm on Wednesday with over 100 per cent occupancy.

The general compartment of the train was over-crowded with people going to Chennai for either work or treatment. It was reported that the air conditioner in a few compartments had an issue but according to an official the AC was set at a high temperature, when people told the coach attendant, the temperature was lowered and cooling was efficient.

Before the train left Shalimar Railway station, the workers checked the train couplings. Shalimar Station Master said: “We do not compromise with safety. If need be, the train can be five minutes late but we do not mess around with safety.”

When people were asked of the fear that they may have felt while boarding the train, many cited urgency as a reason for their travel. A migrant worker said: “If we don’t go to work, how will we earn and provide food to the family? Fear is there but work is more important.”

On Friday at 6:55 pm, Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express collided with a goods train at Bahanaga Bazar Railway Station in Odisha. Since it was not supposed to stop at the station, the train was running at full speed when it collided with the goods train which was stationed at the loop line. The impact from the collision led to derailment of most of its coaches. Few of its coaches fell on the side line on which Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express was passing, which led to the derailment of two of its coaches.

At least 288 people died and over 1000 people were injured in the accident. Many people were rescued and sent to Howrah Station on Saturday by a special relief train and Yeshwantpur-Howrah Express. These survivors had recounted the accident in a state of shock. Many people described the dead bodies lying around and tracks being covered in blood.

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