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Motorman’s Presence of Mind Saves Lives of Hundreds

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Mumbai is said to be the “City of Dreams” but hundreds of people wouldn’t have lived to dream if not for Chandrashekhar Sawant.

A 40 year old foot over bridge, a section of Ghokale bridge in Andheri collapsed yesterday (3 June 2018) at 7:30 in the morning. The said bridge was a part of Andheri railway station and it collapsed on the tracks. 3 packed trains passed by the station, seconds before the bridge caved in.

Chandrashekhar Sawant, an ex-army man, was a motorman on a local train which left from Churchgate and was headed to Dahanu. The local was approaching the Andheri station when Sawant noticed the bridge falling and he immediately applied brakes, saving the lives of hundreds of passengers.

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“The train was running at the speed of about 50km/hour. We were just 50-60 meters away when I saw the bridge collapsing. It happened right in front of me. So I applied the emergency brakes and stopped just in time.”Sawant said.

Chandrashekhar Sawant

Sawant then informed the guard and authorities about the mishap. He then put on the flash light as a signal and stood with a red flag to stop other trains.

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The Railway ministry immediately took heed of the situation, praised Sawant for his “Presence of Mind” and awarded him Rs 5 lakh.

“I would like to thank motorman Chandrashekhar Sawant who stopped the train as soon he saw an over head electric line snap and averted a bigger mishap. He will be awarded Rs 5 lakh,” Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said.

The collapse blocked train services on Western Railway line – one of three railway lines in Mumbai. Traffic at the bridge was also stopped.

“I got design of this bridge studied. This bridge is Cantilever bridge and is around 40 years old. Safety audit will be done of 445 bridges in Mumbai suburban. As per findings of audit, necessary action will be taken at the earliest,” Union Minister Piyush Goyal said after visiting the site of collapse in Andheri.

The minister added that the bridge was last audited in 2017 and the results did not show any abnormalities. He has ordered a probe to be completed within 15 days.

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