Sunday, August 8, 2010

Poopally accident brings safety issues to the fore

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The death of four persons in an accident at an unmanned level crossing at S.L. Puram in Alappuzha district on Sunday has exposed the vulnerability of the 118 unmanned level crossings in the Thiruvananthapuram railway division.

It also highlights the need to sensitise road users on the safety measures to be followed at such level crossings.

The accident occurred within a month of Railways observing a week-long drive to coincide with International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD) observed by the International Union of Railways.

A railway official told The Hindu that visibility was good on the stretch and the loco pilot of the train followed all mandatory rules, including blowing of horn, while approaching the level crossing.

Railway sources said this was the first fatal accident at the S.L. Puram level crossing. The unmanned level crossing was one of the 71 in the division to which personnel would be posted this year, this included 45 critical crossings in the Ernakulam- Alappuzha- Kayamkulam section.

The sources said work had commenced to eliminate all unmanned level crossings in the country in the next five years. The rising number of accidents at these crossings was a cause of concern for Railways.

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