Residents of Ghughumari village in Cooch Behar district of north Bengal on Monday morning helped prevent a possible accident by flagging down a passenger train about to pass over a damaged line.
Madan Das, a resident, noticed the crack on the line at about 7.30 am. At the same time, the Alipurduar-Bamanhat passenger train was also approaching the fault. Visibility was poor due to fog.
Das quickly sought another man’s red shirt and waved it frantically at the approaching train.
“The driver saw it in the end and braked. Even so, three bogies had already crossed the crack in the line before the train finally came to a complete halt,’’ said Das.
“I have been to the spot and congratulated the villagers — especially Madan Das who was responsible for saving the passengers. We have informed the Eastern Railways, and have told them that the problem needs to be addressed immediately, although temporary repairs have been done. They have assured us that the line will be repaired within two days,” said Rabindranath Ghosh, North Bengal Development Minister.
“If the train had derailed here it would have been a complete disaster. Many lives would have been lost if it weren’t for the Ghughumara village residents,” he said.
For the time being, trains continue to use the damaged line, but as a precautionary measure, trains have been asked to slow down while on the stretch.
After temporary repairs, the train resumed its journey at around 8.40 am.
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