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Derailment chain effect

Calcutta, Feb. 1: Seven coaches of a Sealdah-bound local train jumped tracks near Dum Dum today, leading to the cancellation of 108 trains and delaying many more, including a Rajdhani.

An official said that no one was injured in the accident.

A preliminary probe suggests that cracks in the tracks had derailed these coaches of the Ranaghat-Sealdah local at 6.05am soon after it had left Dum Dum, a railway source said.

“Such cracks develop because of fluctuations in day and night temperatures. We are probing whether there was any mischief,” an official said.

Repairs ended at 8.35pm, after which the tracks were reopened to traffic.

Throughout the day, trains bound for Sealdah could only use one of the two pairs of “down” tracks. Of the “up” lines, used by trains leaving Sealdah, the one by the side of the damaged “down” tracks too was closed till 4.05pm.

An Eastern Railway official said: “As many as 108 suburban trains were cancelled. Sixteen trains were terminated before reaching their destinations.”

As the number of trains dwindled, thousands of commuters struggled for space in the few that ran. Trains entering Sealdah had to wait half an hour on an average before receiving the green light.

Train services between Garia and Ballygunge, too, were stopped for half an hour from 9.45pm after cracks developed in the tracks.