Mahalaxmi Express (file pic)
Mahalaxmi Express (file pic)

All 900 on-board Mahalaxmi Express rescued

ANI | Updated: Jul 27, 2019 19:12 IST

Badlapur (Maharashtra) [India], July 27 (ANI): Around 900 passengers, including railway staff, who were stranded on board Mumbai-Kolhapur Mahalaxmi Express, which was marooned in floodwaters between Vagani and Badlapur stations, near 100 km from Mumbai, were rescued and taken to safety, after an 8-hour-long rescue operation mounted by various forces,
Children, women, nine of them pregnant, elders and disabled persons were rescued first and taken to a safer location nearby. Several boats were used for the rescue operation, while 37 doctors, including a gynaecologist, were deployed at the site.
The train was standed at the place from 3 am, passengers said.
Units of the National Disaster Relief Relife (NDRF), army and air force along with railway officials were deployed from early morning to rescue the passengers, who thanked the authorities for the help.
As many as nine pregnant women were there and elderly people were rescued after rescuing them. Finally male passengers were evacuated, said NDRF chief S N Pradhan.
Several of them, including senior citizens, could be seen walking on the tracks where the waters had receded. The rescued passengers have left for Mumbai, officials said.
Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said in New Delhi that his ministry got information about the stranded train at about 8.50 am while two teams of NDRF started the rescue operation at 9.40 am.
"We got the information at 8.50 am while 2 teams of NDRF along with 9 boats reached there at 9.40 am and started the rescue operation," said Rai.
"Home Ministry contacted Air Force officials, Railway officials & Maharashtra govt officials. We were in constant touch with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The Home Minister himself monitored the operation," he added.
SN Pradhan, DG NDRF said, "Women and children were evacuated first including 9 pregnant women after that elderly person were evacuated and finally male passengers. The operation went on for around 8 hours, around 900 passengers have been safely evacuated."
Home Minister Amit Shah praised various forces for the rescue effort which was closely monitored by his ministry.
"Teams of NDRF, Navy, IAF, Railways and state administration have safely rescued all the 700 passengers stranded on Mahalaxmi Express near Mumbai. We were closely monitoring the entire operation. Kudos to the rescue teams for their exemplary effort", he said in a tweet.
Central Railway Chief Public Relations Officer said that a special train with 19 coaches will leave from Kalyan to Kolhapur with the passengers of Mahalaxmi Express. (ANI)