All 700 Passengers On Board Stranded Mahalaxmi Express
By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 27, Jul 2019, 17:46 pm IST | UPDATED: 27, Jul 2019, 17:46 pm IST
Mumbai: All 700 passengers, including nine pregnant women, of the Mahalaxmi Express stuck on waterlogged tracks near Vangani in Thane district, have been rescued by the NDRF and other rescue teams, Home Minister Amit Shah said. The train, with around 700 passengers, had left Mumbai for Kolhapur on Friday night, but could not travel beyond Chamtoli, where it reached early Saturday.
The National Disaster Response Force, Navy, Air Force, Railway Protection Force and local authorities have jointly launched a rescue operation to move the passengers out of the deluged area.
"Teams of @NDRFHQ, @indiannavy, @adgpi, IAF, Railways & state administration have safely rescued all the 700 passengers stranded on Mahalaxmi Exp near Mumbai due to heavy rain. We were closely monitoring the entire operation. Kudos to the rescue teams for their exemplary effort," Amit Shah said in a tweet.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai spoke to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and assured him that all Central assistance will be provided to the state.
Earlier, after a request from the Maharashtra government, eight flood rescue teams from Navy including 3 diving teams mobilised with rescue material, inflatable boats & life jackets were sent to the location. A Seaking Helicopter was also sent with divers for deployment in the area as advance assessment party. The train Mahalaxmi Express is held up between Badlapur and Wangani adjoining Thane district due to heavy rains.
The Central Railway (CR) appealed to the passengers not to try getting out of the train on their own as it can be risky. "Our request to passengers of Mahalaxmi Express, please don't get down from train. Train is a safe place. Staff, RPF and City Police are in train to look after your wellbeing. Please wait for advice from the NDRF and other disaster management authorities," said Sunil Udasi, the chief spokesperson of the Central Railway.
Heavy rains have been lashing Mumbai and the adjoining areas, which has led to flooding in several parts. The downpour has led to traffic snarls and cancellation of several flights. It has also affected the movement of trains.
As the downpour revived the memories of the much greater monsoon fury the city had witnessed on July 26, 2005, there were delays of on average more than one hour in airport operations.
Intense spells of rain are likely to continue in the districts of Thane, Raigad and Mumbai, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had said earlier in the day.