Heavy jerk at track intersection may have led to Chengannur bishop Thomas Mar Athanasios’ death

The body of Mar Athanasius was found at around 4.45 am-5 am lying in between intersection point in between second and first track near Pullepady Railway Overbridge.

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The police suspect that Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church, Chengannur Diocese, Thomas Mar Athanasios fell from his trainfollowing a heavy jerk at a track intersection point routing trains to Ernakulam Junction Station and Kottayam after passing Ernakulam Town Station near Pullepady in Kochi. The police are also checking whether another train ran over the deceased as his left leg was found on another track separated from the body.

As per information provided by railway authorities and police, Thomas Mar Athanasios was travelling in Rajdhani Express and he had made a call to his secretary informing the arrival of the train when it crossed Aluva Railway station between 3.45 am and 4 am.

The train passed Ernakulam Town station (non-stoppage) at 4.12 am through the second track, which is used by trains operating from the north side. The train arrived at Ernakulam Junction Station first platform at 4.20 am.

The body of Mar Athanasios was found at around 4.45 am-5 am lying in between intersection point in between second and first track near Pullepady Railway Overbridge (ROB).

“Thomas Mar Athanasios was standing at the right-side door of the AC three tier compartment. The possibility is, there was a heavy jerk when the train crossed the track intersection point. Since Rajadhani Express did not stop at Ernakulam Town station, the speed of the train is supposed to be fast. At the time, Mar Athanasios was standing near the door, lost his balance and fell off from the train. For an 80-year-old person, it would be difficult to withstand the heavy jerk,” a police officer at accident spot told 

His body was lying in between the tracks in South-North position and his left leg, separated from the body, was at another track. “Only after the postmortem, we can confirm about how the death has taken place. Whether there was any train coming from the opposite which ran over him cannot be confirmed now. Usually, the first track is also used by the goods trains,” K Lalji, Assistant Commissioner of Police said.

 No other passenger in the compartment in which Mar Athanasius was travelling reported about the accident when the train reached Ernakulam Junction station.

When the Rajdhani Express reached Ernakulam Junction first platform, Mar Athanasios’ secretary was waiting to receive him. However, when Mar Athanasius was not found, they informed the authorities. In the search that followed, his body was spotted. It was later shifted to Ernakulam General Hospital where a post-mortem was held.