CHENNAI: A 19-year-old student traveling on the running board of a commuter train has died after his head crashed into a power pole near Tambaram on Tuesday morning. The deceased, K Jesuran Durai of Maraimalai Nagar in Chengalpet District, was a freshman in BCA from a private college in Chromepet.
Police said Durai left the house at 7 a.m. and rode his bicycle to Vandalur station where he boarded a Chengalpet-Chennai Beach train at 8 a.m. He had to get off at Chromepet and walk to his college. Police, based on witness testimony, said Durai stood on the running board and leaned over, listening to one of his friends.
As the train passed through Irumbuliyur, his head hit a power pole and he was ejected. He fell on the edge of the train tracks, bleeding profusely. Others in the car pulled the chain and brought the train to a stop. His friends who witnessed the fall called the railway police. A team rushed to the scene, but he was dead by then, police said. A case was registered and the body was sent to Chromepet Government Hospital for post-mortem examination. Using the identity card found on him and information provided by his friends, the police informed his parents.
Preliminary investigations revealed that he held on to a doorknob and leaned over while listening to a friend who was further inside the coach. “We didn’t realize the pole was so close to hitting his head. We usually traveled on running boards whenever we were late for college and the train was packed,” said Akash, his friend who was traveling with the late Durai at the time.
He said that unlike the others, Durai never stood on the running board unless there was no other option. “However, it was our usual time to go to college. It all happened in seconds before we could pull it inside. Even now, we find it hard to remember how it happened. past,” Akash said, sobbing.
In 2012, in a similar incident, Mr Muthukumar, an employee of a software company, died on the spot when his head hit a utility pole under Chetpet Bridge as the train approached Chetpet Station.
A few GRP teams recently toured several colleges in the city and its suburbs, advising students on precautions to take when traveling by commuter train. Showing them documentaries made on the dangers of the running board, they urged students to avoid it, not to talk or chat on mobile phones while crossing train tracks. They even distributed pamphlets on the subject to emphasize the point.

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