All 1,050 passengers on board stranded Mahalaxmi Express rescued: Central Railway

PTI

Thane: National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel carry out rescue and relief operation after a train bound for Kohlapur from Mumbai was stranded following heavy monsoon rain near Badlapur in Thane district, Saturday, July 27, 2019. Mahalaxmi Express with 700 passsengers on board could not travel beyond Chamtoli where it is stranded since the early hours of Saturday. (PTI Photo)

Thane: National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel carry out rescue and relief operation after a train bound for Kohlapur from Mumbai was stranded following heavy monsoon rain near Badlapur in Thane district, Saturday, July 27, 2019. Mahalaxmi Express with 700 passengers on board could not travel beyond Chamtoli where it is stranded since the early hours of Saturday. (PTI Photo)

All 1,050 passengers on board Kolhapur-bound Mahalaxmi Express were rescued on Saturday in a multi-agency operation nearly 17 hours after the train was stranded near Vangani in Thane district due to flooding on tracks following heavy rains.

Central Railway (CR) officials said all the passengers, including nine pregnant women, were rescued by 3 pm.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah praised the rescue teams and said the Centre was closely monitoring the situation.

Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Navy, Air Force, Army, Railways and state administration rescued all the passengers, he tweeted.

“Kudos to the rescue teams for their exemplary effort,” he said.

The train had left Mumbai for Kolhapur on Friday night, but could not travel beyond Vangani, where it reached in the wee hours Saturday.

Talking to PTI, chief spokesperson of the CR Sunil Udasi said all 1,050 passengers were taken to a safe spot.

“A special train with 19 coaches will leave from Kalyan to Kolhapur with the affected passengers of the Mahalaxmi Express,” Udasi said.

Officials involved in the rescue operation said the nine pregnant women and a one-month-old baby girl were also safe.

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, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a tweet earlier.

(PTI)