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Pointman averts train collision

Calcutta, Dec. 25:

Alert pointman Anil Garai today saved hundreds of lives when he spotted two local trains running on the same track through dense fog at Kakdwip in South 24-Parganas and waved a red flag to bring one to a halt.

The Up Kakdwip local was rushing towards the Nishchindapur station around 7.56 am on the same track where the down train stood, ready to leave. The motorman of the Up train saw Garai’s signal and slammed the brakes.

Passengers had a miraculous escape as the trains came to a halt 10 metres from each other around 7.56 am amid dense fog at Nishchindapur.

An alert pointman today saved hundreds of lives after two local trains coming from opposite directions were found running on the same track near Kakdwip in South 24-Parganas.

Passengers had a miraculous escape as the trains came to a halt 10 metres from each other around 7.56 am amid dense fog at Nishchindapur.

Eastern Railway officials, however, denied the incident.

Passengers travelling on both trains jumped out of the compartments to save their lives as the Up Kakdwip local rushed towards the Nishchindapur station on the same track where the down train stood, ready to leave.

Pointman Anil Garai had noticed the signal error and was waving the red flag. Thankfully, the motorman of the Up train spotted the flag through the fog and slammed the brakes.

Kakdwip station master Probhas Chandra Bain said technical snags were to be blamed for the incident.

“As the panel board was not in order, the signals were not working since last night. However, nothing happened in the end and we are lucky that everybody is safe,” the station master said.

Tarak Nath Sardar, who was coming from Madhabpur, said: “We initially thought that a fire might break out. Out of fear, we jumped on the platform,” he said.

Gopal Patra, a stall-owner said that they the situation could not be believed if one had not seen it in his own eyes.

“We thought that the trains were about to collide but it was Providence who had saved the situation,” Patra said.

Local Trinamul Congress MLA, Montu Pakhira and SDPO Kakdwip Amitabha Burma admitted that a mishap was averted at the last minute. Pakhira said he also wrote to the divisional railway manager (DRM), Sealdah, urging him to take measures so that such things did not recur. He also requested him to ensure repair of faulty signals at the earliest.

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