Ranaghat (Nadia), Sept. 13: Two days after several “pandrol clips” that hold the railway tracks on the sleepers were found missing near Barakar before two Rajdhanis — from Howrah and Sealdah — were to pass, a crack was detected on the tracks on which the Lalgola Fast Passenger was speeding in to Ranaghat station.
The train averted a possible mishap when gangmen working on the stretch of railway line between Ranaghat and Pairadanga stations in Nadia alerted the stationmaster about the anomaly around 10.30 am and the train was stopped at Chakdah.
Train services were disrupted in the Ranaghat section for about an hour. Services resumed around 11.30 am after the crack was repaired.
Passengers, with the Barakar incident fresh in their memory, were in panic when they came to know why the train was delayed. Others, waiting to board at Ranaghat, were agitated by the delay and protested outside the stationmaster’s office, seeking early resumption of services.
Ranaghat stationmaster S.C. Mukherjee, who called in the engineers immediately after the gang men informed him, said the crack, measuring two centimetres, was repaired within an hour.
At least five trains from Sealdah were detained at various stations, inconveniencing the passengers. Stranded passengers, particularly office-goers, made a beeline for the skeletal bus services at Chakdah, Kalyani, Pairadanga, Simurali and Naihati.
Tempers were frayed because they already had to make a detour to board the trains as Howrah station is closed for installation of new track relay and signalling system.
Though railway engineers claimed it was a hairline crack caused due to variation in temperature, members of the Diploma Engineers’ Association said it would not have taken place if the tracks were properly maintained.
“A regular check on the railway line is necessary to avert such untoward things,” an association member said.
Sisters Pampa Samaddar, 12, and Shikha, 11, drowned in a pond at Swarupnagar in North 24-Parganas this afternoon when they ventured close to it on their way back from school.
Shikha slipped and fell in when she tried to dip her feet in the water. Pampa drowned trying to save her sister.