Mock drill by railway staff

TIRUNELVELI

Train passengers who crossed the Thaazhaiyooththu railway station on the city outskirts here on Wednesday morning witnessed the ‘train accident’ enacted by the railway staff to check the operation preparedness of its men in rescuing the victims in case of any mishap and speedy restoration of rail traffic in the affected section.

As the Madurai Division of Southern Railway conducted the annual mock drill at Thaazhaiyooththu near here on Wednesday, over 150 personnel drawn from 10 sections of Southern Railways and 35 NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) personnel from Arakkonam were involved in the drill under the supervision of V.R. Lenin, Divisional Railway Manager, Madurai.

After a discarded coach was mechanically derailed by a crane, the rescue team swung into operation at 9.30 a.m. Even as 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 ambulance arrived at the spot with paramedical personnel to shift the ‘injured’ to the nearby hospitals after administering ‘first-aid’. Bodies of the ‘deceased’ were sent to the hospital for a post-mortem.

After power in the high-tension wires over the ‘affected track’ was switched off, the derailed coaches were put on the track to be taken to the yard for ‘maintenance’. The entire exercise was completed by 11.30 a.m.

During an informal chat with the reporters, Mr. Lenin, 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.

“If any delay in response is found, it will be rectified so that all stakeholders of the rescue operation can react to the mishap immediately to save as many victims,” said Mr. Lenin, who informed that the doubling of railway track between Madurai and Tirunelveli would be completed by December 2020.

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