Sunday, August 8, 2010

Unmanned level crossings turn death traps

ALAPPUZHA: The accident in which four persons, including two foreign tourists, were killed when their car attempted to cross an unmanned level crossing here on Sunday is the latest in several such accidents and near-accidents in Alappuzha.

The car driver had failed to see the oncoming train, reportedly due to a curve in the road approaching the level crossing and also because of the dense growth of shrubs alongside the tracks.

The actual reasons for the accident are, however, yet to be ascertained. Southern Railway Additional General Manager K.K. Shrivastava and Divisional Railway Manager Rajiv Dutt Sharma visited the accident site, while the Mararikulam police have registered a case.

Railway officials said there were 45 unmanned level crossings from Ernakulam via Alappuzha up to Kayamkulam. With the number of accidents on the rise, Railways were in the process of drawing out a plan to man these gates. Manpower had been recruited and work was about to start.

As for accidents, it was just two days back that nearly 70 school students had a providential escape when the school bus they were travelling in got stalled in the middle of the tracks while crossing an unmanned level crossing.

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