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Thursday, June 13, 2024

IAF helicopter airlifts 4 passengers, including child, from marooned train

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Thoothukudi (Tamil Nadu): An Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter rescued four people, including a one-and-a-half-year-old child and her pregnant mother, from the Tiruchendur-Chennai Egmore Chendur Express that was stranded at Srivaikuntam railway station in Thoothukudi district due to heavy flooding on Tuesday.

Railway sources said the train with around 800 passengers, which departed from Tiruchendur on Sunday at 2025 hours, was terminated at Srivaikuntam railway station at 2119 hours following flooding of the railway tracks.

With the assistance of rescue personnel, around 300 stranded passengers were rescued swiftly and shifted to a nearby government school. Further transportation of 500 stranded passengers was hindered due to heavy rains and the overflowing of a bridge en route.

As the rescue teams, including the NDRF, could not reach the railway station to rescue the stranded passengers due to heavy flooding and breaching of roads, the state government sought assistance from the IAF for rescue and relief operations.

Helicopters carrying two tonnes of relief materials that left Sulur air base could not make the drop due to adverse weather conditions and poor light late Monday evening.

Three IAF helicopters were pressed into service this morning. Food packets and drinking water were airdropped to the passengers.

Efforts were now underway to evacuate the stranded passengers from the train with the assistance of the IAF, NDRF, SDRF, railway police, and others.

On evacuation from the train, the passengers will be moved to Vanchi Maniyachi railway station, from where they will be sent to Chennai in a special train, the sources added.

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