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Two attempts in quick succession to derail trains near Sattur station fail

Staff Reporter

Fishplates and clamps fixed on rails; seven ‘elastic rail clips' found removed



Officials demonstrating how fishplates and clamps were fixed on the track near Sattur, for the benefit of investigating agencies, on Monday.

MADURAI: Passengers of two express trains had a miraculous escape after two sabotage attempts near Sattur in Virudhunagar district in quick succession early on Monday failed.

Inspector General of Police (South Zone), M.N. Manjunatha, has formed special teams to nab the culprits who placed fishplates and clamps on rails.

The driver of train No.12790 Kanyakumari-Rameswaram Express heard an “unusual” sound when the train was approaching the Sattur railway station around 1.10 a.m.

He informed the railway officials following which the driver of the next train, No.16351 Mumbai-Nagercoil Express, was asked to be cautious while crossing the spot, Divisional Railway Manager A.K. Goel said.

The alert driver found fishplates fixed on both rails of the track with the help of clamps around 2.30 a.m.

“It seems to be an attempted sabotage by a group of people. It looks like only fish plates were placed on the tracks while the first train crossed. But, in the second attempt, they had fixed the clamps too,” Mr. Goel said.

He said that night patrolling would be intensified following the incident.

Mr. Manjunatha, who concurred with Mr. Goel's suspicion of two attempts in quick succession, said that had anyone of the trains hit the clamps fixed on the rails, it would have derailed.

“We do not know whether it is only a mischief or sabotage.”

While railway officials claimed that at least seven “elastic rail clips” that are used to hold the rails with the sleepers were removed, the IG said that there could be an attempt to remove them or those clips could have failed when the first train passed over the fishplates.

Meanwhile, blood stains were found a few yards away from the spot which added to the confusion.

“We combed the whole area to find out whether somebody was murdered and the body thrown away in the bushes. But nothing of that sort was found,” he said.

The blood samples have been sent for analysis to find out whether it is human blood or that of animal, he said.

Besides senior railway officials, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Railways) A.G. Pon. Manickavel, Virudhunagar Superintendent of Police Najmul Hoda and Divisional Security Commissioner M. Ramesh inspected the site.

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