Chennai: Passengers of the Tiruchirapalli-Chennai Rockfort Express had a narrow escape when suspected pro-LTTE elements blasted railway tracks at Perani railway station in Villupuram district in the wee hours on Saturday.
About three feet of tracks were blown off in the explosion when the train was coming towards the station at around 2:10 am. The station master cautioned the driver of the train, who applied emergency brakes averting a major train disaster, police and railway sources said.
Leaflets condemning the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa were found from the spot, police said.
Train traffic has been disrupted on the route following the explosion.
Most of the trains coming to Chennai from other parts have been stopped or diverted.
A manhunt has been launched for the culprits.
Repairing work is on and the traffic is expected to be restored by 9 am, the officials said.
Rockfort Express, Pearl City Express, Kanyakumari Express, Mumbai-Madurai Express and others have been stopped midway. Trains departing from here to Guruvayoor, Puducherry and other places were also delayed.
Police said a wire from the blast spot was leading to
a nearby irrigation pumpset.
Investigations were on to ascertain the nature of the
blast and the device used in the explosion, they said.
Railway officials have restored the track and traffic
has resumed after a gap of nearly six hours. Several trains to
Chennai were running late by more than five hours.
Police said a team has been formed to nab the persons
involved in the incident.
(With Agencies` inputs)