Unauthorised persons speed off with EMU, collide with a goods train 7 km later

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In a bizarre accident, an unspecified number of persons took over a suburban electric train, drove it for about seven kms at high speed before colliding with a goods train head on, killing four persons and injuring 11 others early Wednesday morning. Railway police sources, however, put the figure of the dead at six.

The Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) train was taken out of the Central station here from the suburban Moore Market complex at around 4.50 am, half an hour before schedule. The train ran at high speed jumping the signal at the next station going on a wrong track before colliding head-on with a Chennai-bound goods train at Vyasarpadi Jeeva station in the north western suburb, two halts from Central, in the ChennaiArakkonam section.

As the Chennai-Tiruvallur EMU train started moving, some waiting commuters boarded it thinking it was a regular service. Two EMU compartments were destroyed in the fire caused by the collision and rest were thrown off the tracks.

Acting General Manager of Southern Railway M S Jayanth said four persons were killed, but Railway police sources put the figure of dead at six. While the exact number of those in the driver’s cabin was not not known, Jayanth said it was definitely the handiwork of ‘some knowledgeable miscreants’ who had driven the train since it involved operation of four keys, including panel, brake, reversal. It is a high-tech machine," Jayanth said but ruled out involvement of a railway driver or other officials. The identity of the miscreants was not known, he said. The Commissioner of Railway Safety would hold an inquiry.

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