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The shunting engine, along with two goods coaches, that derailed near Korukkupet on Wednesday.
CHENNAI: One person was crushed to death when a shunting engine derailed from the track and the train tipped over near the Korukkupet railway station on Wednesday afternoon.
The victim, Ravikumar Pillai (55), a pointsman of Southern Railway who got off the engine to ensure that the train was on the right track, died when one of the coaches fell on him, according to eyewitness accounts.
The shunting engine was moving 18 goods coaches from Tondiarpet to Korukkupet. Raja Motta, one of three personnel in the vicinity of the train when the incident happened, said around 1.15 p.m., the engine derailed while trying to shift track. Shunting, in railway operations, involves the process of sorting incoming goods locomotives into batches and sending them to various nearby terminals, where the goods are then shifted on to trucks.
In Chennai Division, Jolarpet and Tondiarpet are the two main goods loading/unloading points, where coal, iron ore and steel are handled.
Francis D. Raju, additional general secretary of the Southern Railway Mazdoor Union, said that the accident could have been prevented and blamed the authorities for lack of attention to safety measures. He alleged that while each shunting engine had enough braking power to control only five coaches, 18 coaches were attached to the engine which met with the accident.
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