Realising something was suspicious about the noise they heard, the villagers knew the Rajdhani was in danger.
The Dibrugarh bound New Delhi-Guwahati-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express, would have had a major accident, if it wasn’t for the presence of mind of the residents of a village, who used nothing but a red towel, to avert a mishap!
The incident took place near Chaidha-Bunny halt on the Mansi-Mahesh Khunt section of East Central Railway (ECR) in Katihar district.
The superfast train was passing through the Barauni-Katihar section of the ECR line, around 300 km east of Patna, early on Friday morning, when Bimal Kumar, a villager, heard a suspicious thud.
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Sensing something was wrong, Bimal immediately summoned his acquaintances, Subodh Yadav and Babloo Ram, and a few other villagers, and showed them the damaged track. This was moments before the Rajdhani was to cross the halt.
Investigations revealed cracks in the line of the tracks, and the men quickly got down to action. They procured a red gamchha (towel) from a nearby house and waved it, as the train was approaching. The Rajdhani Driver immediately applied the emergency brakes and stopped the train, which was travelling at a very high speed.
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There was a moment of tension, as the engine and three compartments of the train crossed the damaged tracks, as they were unable to halt despite the brakes. However, Mr Rajesh Kumar, the chief public relation officer (CPRO) of East Central Railway informed The Telegraph that no mishap occurred, and all the passengers were safe.
He credits the residents for having the presence of mind to wave a towel, to stop the train.