2 decades on, Railway still looking for answers on Kadalundi train derailment

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Vallikunnu: The 22-year-old train accident in Kadalundi, Kozhikode, which left 52 dead and several others injured, continues to haunt families of victims and railway officials in the state.

The Mangalore-Chennai Express (6602) that departed from Kozhikode Railway Station derailed and fell into the Kadalundi River at 5:10 pm on June 21, 2001. A total of six carriages derailed, and three fell into the river.

The mishap left 52 dead and up to 222 injured. The Kadalundi incident was the second worst train accident in the state after the 1988 Peruman railway accident.

The rapid intervention and rescue operations by locals, especially coir and sand mining workers and fisherfolks, helped reduce the death toll and shift the injured to the hospitals.

Following the accident, the train services were disrupted in the Malabar region for several months.

The official inquiry commission concluded that the accident was caused by one pillar of the 140-year-old bridge sinking into the riverbed, a finding widely challenged by many.

Some argued that the bogies of the train must have derailed, severely damaging the bridge and resulting in its collapse. The railway also kept the remains of the old bridge intact as part of their investigation, which went cold after a few years. Today, haunting memories remain, and Indian Railway has long forgotten about the tragic past.

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