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Mobile phone call turns fatal for 24-year-old woman

Staff Reporter

Accident highlights risk taken by people who refuse to take the foot overbridge



A DANGEROUS GAME: Commuters crossing the railway track at Chromepet. — Photo: K. Manikandan

TAMBARAM: A 24-year-old woman was killed on the spot, when an electric train hit her while she was crossing the railway track at Chromepet on Thursday night.

B. Sivakami alias Hamsa was attending to a call on her mobile phone, unaware of the speeding train approaching the Chromepet station. Sivakami, employed in the Accounts department of an automobile major at Tidel Park, had worked in the afternoon shift and boarded the train at Guindy to return home.

Around 8 p.m., the train reached Chromepet. She got down from the train and crossed the railway track on the Southern end of the platform to reach the GST Road.

She was staying at the Homefinders Court apartment complex near the Madras Institute of Technology campus. She did not want to walk on the road between the MIT campus and the railway station as it was poorly illuminated. So she decided to cross the track, reach the GST Road, walk till the MIT Gate, cross the track again to reach her apartment complex.

People dart across the tracks at least three places near the railway station: on either sides, the northern and southern ends of the platform and near the foot over bridge. Residents prefer to cross the railway track to reach the other side instead of using the foot overbridge. Activists said lack of awareness among the commuters and residents and scant regard for safety of their own lives were to be blamed.

Wall demolished

V. Santhanam, secretary of the Train Passengers Association, Chromepet, pointed out to the open space right under the foot over bridge. There was a small wall near the two-wheeler parking lot. It was demolished during gauge conversion. And the trains come dangerously close to the foot over bridge and the parking lot.

Students, office-goers, children and senior citizens cross the railway track and scale the platform to reach the other side. In the absence of a wall adjacent to the foot over bridge, commuters jump down from the platform and cross the track to reach the GST Road in a few paces. He urged the Southern Railway to immediately construct a wall near the parking lot and other places to ensure that commuters do not cross the track at any point.

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