900 people rescued from Mahalaxmi Express: Nityanand Rai

Badlapur [Maharashtra]: All the 700 passengers and 200 railway staff, who were marooned since 3 am in heavy rains in the Kolhapur-Mumbai Mahalaxmi Express, which was stranded about 100 km from Mumbai, were rescued by joint efforts of teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Army, Air Force, Navy and railway officials.

The passengers and staff have been evacuated safely from the train that was stranded between Vagani and Badlapur, Central Railways’ Chief Public Relations Officer said.

Officials from NDRF, Army and Navy carried out the large-scale rescue operation. Several boats were used for the rescue effort, while 37 doctors, including a gynaecologist, were deployed at the site.

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The train was stranded since 3 am today due to flooding of tracks as three-foot-high flood water was reported near Vangani station.

Several women passengers, most of them senior citizens, expressed sigh of relief on their rescue. They thanked the authorities for rescuing them from the train saying they did an excellent job considering the difficult situation they were in.

Once rescued, many of them were seen walking with their luggage on the railway tracks where water had receded.

“Under the guidance of Prime Minister, NDRF has made such advancement in its resources that it works successfully in any part of the country when a situation arises. 900 people were saved today due to the effective management of the Prime Minister and Home Minister,” Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai told reporters in New Delhi.

He said that the ministry is in constant touch with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Home Minister Amit Shah is himself monitoring the situation.

“The Home Ministry contacted Air Force officials, Railway officials and Maharashtra govt officials. We were in constant touch with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The Home Minister himself monitored the operation,” Rai remarked.

Shah praised the “exemplary efforts” of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Indian Army and Indian Navy for safely rescuing the passengers stranded on the Mahalaxmi Express.

“Teams of NDRF, Navy, IAF, Railways&state administration have safely rescued all the 700 passengers stranded on Mahalaxmi Express near Mumbai. We were closely monitoring the entire operation. Kudos to the rescue teams for their exemplary effort,” Shah tweeted along with pictures of the rescue efforts.

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