CHENNAI: Three youngsters travelling on the footboard of a suburban train were killed and four others suffered severe injuries after the bag of one of them allegedly got tangled on a sign post, causing a group of people to get pulled off the running train near St Thomas Mount station here on Thursday.
The train from Chengalpattu was nearing St Thomas Mount station around 9 am with a huge crowd of office and college-goers when the tragedy struck. According to eyewitnesses, at least seven footboard travellers on the 12th coach were instantly pulled down by a man when his backpack got tangled on a sign post.
“I felt someone pushing me and all I can remember was how I clung to the railing. Only after hearing screams did I realise that my friends had fallen off,” said C Sudhakar, who escaped unhurt. He and others tried to pull the chain in the compartment to halt the train, but the chain broke and the train halted only at Guindy station, more than a kilometre from the accident spot.
On reaching the spot by foot, Sudhakar and a bunch of passengers found about seven men lying there, bleeding profusely. Sudhakar’s friend Praveen Raj (18) and another passenger Manikandan (22) died on the spot. Another passenger Samuel Jeba Singh (23) died a few hours later in hospital.
The four injured persons suffered wounds so grievous that each of them might be paralysed for life. All of them were blue-collar workers from lower middle-class families who were travelling from the southern suburbs to report for duty.