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MUMBAI: A couple crossing the tracks at Thakurli railway station was killed by an oncoming train on Tuesday morning. The man, Vijay Patil (27), and his seven-month-pregnant wife Priti (23) were to celebrate their first wedding anniversary with a party that evening.Vijay had gone to fetch Priti, his father Balgonda (55) and mother Chaya (52), who were coming from Kolhapur for the anniversary celebrations to be held at Vijay's rented house in Dombivli East. The trio had taken a local train from Kalyan to Thakurli, where Vijay was waiting for them. They waited for a CST local to pass before attempting to cross the tracks. But a local coming from the opposite direction hit the couple even as Vijay's parents managed to escape unhurt.The distraught father told TOI that Vijay had never crossed the tracks before. "I don't know why he chose to take us that way on Tuesday," he... Read more...
said. Shivajirao Bagal, senior police inspector from the Government Railway Police (GRP), Dombivli, said that Vijay probably decided to do that because of his father's weak legs, and because they were carrying heavy luggage.Thakurli is a notorious accident spot, where 16 accidents have been reported in the last five months alone. Indeed, the statistics of the three railway stations within the jurisdiction of the Dombivli GRP in the last five months are grim: fifty deaths have taken place here, of which 24 were at Kopar railway station, 16 at Thakurli and 10 at Dombivli. Another 37 people were injured in railway accidents at these stations.The railway authorities' response has been to launch awareness campaigns at the accident spots. "The Railway Protection Force (RPF) and GRP, with the help of NGOs, have been staging street plays," said A K Singh, Central Railway PRO. "In fact, just one day before the accident, Satish Menon, an inspector from the Thane Railway Protection Force, had organized a street play in Thane's Kalwa area." Singh added that the railways had now started using multimedia at some stations to show images of imaginary accident victims to alert commuters. "This has had an impact on commuters," he said. "We are now planning to start it at stations like Thane, Dombivli and Kalyan."Central Railway has been taking more concrete steps as well. "We have constructed a wall at the boundaries of many railway stations," said Singh. "In addition, fencing work between two tracks is on at 37 railway stations, of which five have been completed."Meanwhile, the police have filed a case of accidental death. On Tuesday afternoon, after the post-mortem report, the family took the bodies of Vijay and Priti to their hometown, Kolhapur, to conduct the last rites.