Villagers avert major train accident in West Bengal

Villagers avert major train accident in West Bengal

The Alipurduar-Bamanhat passenger train was approaching the village at 7.30 this morning when several villagers noticed the crack and flagged the train down.

A day after 39 people were killed due to the derailment of Hirakhand Express, a major train accident was averted by some villagers of Ghughumari village in Cooch Behar district of North Bengal on Monday as they flagged down a train after spotting a wide crack in the rail line. The Alipurduar-Bamanhat passenger train was approaching the village at 7.30 this morning when several villagers noticed the crack and flagged the train down. “I have been to the spot and congratulated the villagers – especially Madan Das who was responsible for saving the passengers on the train. 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,” North Bengal Development Minister Rabinmdranath Ghosh told The Indian Express.

Locals said the Alipurduar-Bamanhat train was approaching Ghughumari when several villagers, including Madan Das, noticed the crack. “There is a large market right next to the rail tracks. But there are no separate roads leading to the market. So most shop owners cros the rail tracks to get there. The shops had just started opening and a number of shoppers had also started arriving. Madan Das, while crossing the tracks, saw the crack which was more like an awning gap in the rail track,” said a local.

It was foggy this morning which made visibility poor. “Das accosted another villager, who was wearing a red shirt. After having taken his friends red shirt, Das started frantically waving it at the approaching train. The driver saw it in the end and applied the break. Even so three bogies had already crossed the crack in the line before the train finally came to a complete halt,” said the villager.

“When I went to the spot I found that the state highway number 12 passes parallel to the rail tracks. And there are at least 150 shops lining the state highway. There is also a curve in the track at that point. 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 villagers,” added Ghosh.


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