Thanks to the alertness and presence of mind of the locals of Cooch Behar district in West Bengal, a potentially major train derailment incident was avoided on January 23.
Madan Das, a resident of Ghughmari village, noticed a crack on the railway line, and with the help of few fellow locals managed to stop an approaching Alipurduar-Bamanhat passenger train just in time.
Image for representation only. Source: By UY Scuti, via Wikimedia Commons
According to a report by The Indian Express, despite poor visibility due to fog, Das used another man’s red shirt and waved it frantically, attracting the driver’s attention.
“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,’’ Das told The Indian Express.
The damage was soon brought to the notice of the authorities and temporary repairs were done. The trains continued to use the damaged line, but were advised to slow down on the stretch as a precautionary measure.
North Bengal Development Minister Rabindranath Ghosh visited the spot and congratulated the locals, whose vigilance saved many lives.
“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 Ghosh.