Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

Commuters break Metro coach window after smoke triggers panic

DMRC said a cable fault gave rise to smoke and that there was no fire or any danger to commuters. (Express archive) DMRC said a cable fault gave rise to smoke and that there was no fire or any danger to commuters. (Express archive)
Written by Siddhartha Gupta | New Delhi | Posted: April 12, 2014 12:07 am | Updated: April 12, 2014 12:08 am

Metro commuters on the Gurgaon line on Friday afternoon broke the windows of a coach in a bid to escape after they reportedly heard a sound and saw smoke emanating from a coach in the rear, police said.

“Although people panicked thinking a fire had started on the train, nobody sustained any serious injury,” Sanjay Bhatia, DCP (Railways), said.

“Around 1 pm, some sparking was observed in the rear coach of the train as it headed towards Arjangarh Metro station from Ghitorni. People panicked, and a few broke the window of a coach to jump out,” Bhatia said.

“The driver applied emergency brakes and the doors were opened, following which passengers got down on the tracks and started walking towards the Metro station. There was no fire and nobody was injured,” he said.

A K Sharma, Director of the Delhi Fire Service, said smoke from a failure in the electrical system caused passengers to panic.

“Five fire tenders were sent to the spot as a precautionary measure. Since the Metro has huge ridership, we have a standard operating procedure which has to be followed in such cases,” Sharma said.

CISF personnel said they received calls from passengers on the helpline numbers put up inside the Metro coaches, following which they alerted the driver to stop and rushed to rescue the commuters.

According to DMRC officials, “people held the support bars and kicked the window to break it.”

“There was a fault in the one of the cables that transfer power from the overhead electrification cable to the Metro. This cable, which passes through a cabinet in the rear coach of the Metro, failed with a loud sound. There was some sparking and smoke, but passengers were at no immediate risk,” a DMRC official said.

Sources said this cable is being replaced on all Metro trains. “The cable by design has a mechanical joint, which can sometimes create a problem like it did today. We want such high-tension cables to be joint-less and we have already begun replacing them on many trains,” the official said.

According to a DMRC spokesperson, services were affected on the line for about 30 minutes.

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