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Mumbai rail accident: Civic hospital's x-ray machine stalls treatment for 11 injured

Mumbai: As if falling off an overcrowded Mumbai suburban train wasn't enough, 11 persons injured in an accident on Central Railways today were further inconvenienced when they were taken to a civic body-run hospital where the x-ray machines weren't functioning.

The 11 injured commuters who were taken to Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar East after the incident, discovered that the hospital not even have functioning x-ray machines.

During peak hour this morning, 23 commuters travelling in a Central Railways suburban train crowded well beyond capacity due to delayed schedules, fell victim to the city's poor rail infrastructure and their own carelessness as they hung on disregarding life and limb. Three of them died (with one succumbing to his injuries in the afternoon) and 20 were injured after falling off trains that were packed over capacity between the Nahur and Mulund stations this morning, according to the Mumbai Government Railway Police (GRP).

The injured at the Rajawadi Hospital in Mumbai. PTI

While none of the 11 injured brought to the hospital were in a very serious condition, the incident was a reminder of the poor state of infrastructure and healthcare Mumbai's civic hospitals have.

Naturally, of the 11 who were brought to the hospital for treatment, only three chose to be admitted to it for treatment after discovering the condition of the x-ray machines.

The hospital's Medical Superintendent, Dr Vijaya Bhatt, downplayed the appalling state of the hospital's equipment, when quizzed about it.

"No one has complained to us about bad facilities. Yes, there was some technical problem with the x-ray machines in the morning but it's all fine now," she told Firstpost.

When asked about why only three of the 11 patients brought to the hospital stayed back at the hospital for treatment, she almost brushed away any responsibility of the hospital for it, saying it was the patients' choice.

"Of the 11 patients who came for immediate treatment, we had initially admitted six patients. Of those six, three were first class train travellers and chose to go to private hospitals because their companies were going to reimburse them for it," she said.

This case of poor facilities at the hospital comes a little over a week after 300-odd MNS workers stormed into the hospital, chanted slogans and burst fireworks outside it, to protest against its poor facilities. While the hospital's medical director Dr Sanjay Oak promised formation of an inquiry committee to look into the matter at the time, the authorities are still clearly dragging their feet on it.

A fire in the signal cabins of Kurla and Vidyavihar on Wednesday, threw suburban train services completely off track. Commuters were hoping for a less chaotic day today, after the Central Railways said that they planned to resume operations for 85 percent of the 1,580-plus regular services on the sector, but services were still much delayed causing an overload in the trains that were plying.

A 1.44 pm train to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus at Ghatkopar station, arrived only at 2.54 pm, over a hour later than scheduled.

The city's suburban railways, widely acknowledged as its lifeline, ferries nearly eight million people from and around Mumbai, Thane and Raigad each day. The Central Railways is the busiest line with over 4.5 million commuters using it for travel daily.