Peruman railway accident

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Peruman railway accident
Peruman railway accident memorial monument.jpg
Memorial at Peruman
Date8 July 1988.
Time01:15 PM
LocationAshtamudi Lake, Kollam district, Kerala
LineKollamErnakulam line between stations Kollam and Munrothuruthu
OperatorSouthern Railway Zone
Incident typeDerailment

In the Peruman railway accident, the (Train No:26) Bangalore - Thiruvananthapuram Central Island Express train derailed on the Peruman bridge over Ashtamudi Lake, near Perinadu, Kollam, Kerala, India and fell into the lake, killing 105 people on 8 July 1988.[1]


The accident occurred at Peruman bridge over Ashtamudi Lake on 8 July 1988 at around 13:15 Hrs. Ten bogie carriages of the Train Number:26 Island Express, travelling from Bangalore to Thiruvananthapuram Central, derailed and fell into the lake. Of the 14 coaches, only the engine, the parcel van and a second class compartment had crossed the bridge when the derailment occurred. Two of the nine coaches that fell into the water turned upside down.[2]

Rescue Operations[edit]

The rescue operations was started immediately by the local people of Perumon and Munrothuruthu who were residing near the bridge. The injured were rushed to Kollam's district hospital and nearby private clinics. Realising the scale of the tragedy, three helicopters and over 100 navy divers were also pressed into service from Cochin, 140 km away. Union Minister of State for Railways Madhavrao Scindia, accompanied by Railway Board members, flew down in a chartered plane to supervise the rescue operations. Scindia announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 1 lakh (100,000) each to relatives of each of the dead.105 people lost their lives and around 200 people were injured.[3]


The exact cause of the accident is still unknown.[4]


A first inquiry conducted by the Commissioner for Railway Safety attributed the cause of train accident to a tornado. This finding has been widely disputed by the general public.

As per P. Venugopal, The Hindu newspaper's correspondent for Alappuzha district then:

Track alignment and faulty wheels

A second inquiry, prompted by public outrage, revealed that problems in track alignment and faulty wheels of coaches were responsible for the tragedy.[5]
The following possible causes, even though not officially acknowledged, have received widespread attention in media.


Some eyewitness are quoted saying that the train was running too fast for the bridge at the time of accident.

Track maintenance work

Some track maintenance may have been going on at the railway bridge. A report alleges the maintenance workers called up the nearest station and inquired about the passing trains. They were told that the Island Express which was due to pass is running late. The blog asserts the workers had lifted a section of rail and the repair was underway, then the workers went for a break, leaving the separated rail, assured that the train was not due. The train kept the right time and derailed on the bridge.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

Perumon tragedy was featured in 1990 Malayalam movie Iyer the Great .There is a short movie by Shankar Ramakrishnan that has been titled as "Island Express".The movie describes about the connection of different people and their journey after the accident.

See also[edit]


Coordinates: 09°07′00″N 76°29′00″E / 9.11667°N 76.48333°E / 9.11667; 76.48333