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Regular-article-logo Saturday, 02 March 2024

‘The Metro token slipped from his hand... he was gone’

Passenger recounts incident in Calcutta Metro when Sajal Kanjilal died after being dragged into the tunnel

TT Bureau Calcutta Published 13.07.19, 08:51 PM
The Park Street Metro station after the accident on Saturday.

The Park Street Metro station after the accident on Saturday. Picture by Pradip Sanyal

A passenger, who was in the compartment where the hand of Sajal Kumar Kanjilal had got stuck leading to his death after being dragged into the tunnel, recounts to Metro what he saw from inside the coach in barely a minute’s time.

Harinabi resident Janardan Ghosh, 64, had boarded the Garia-bound train by mistake and when Metro spoke to him late on Saturday night he was still traumatised.

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The man’s right hand, with a clenched fist, had got stuck between the doors. He was outside. We panicked and screamed for help. From inside, we shouted out, asking him to pull out. But he did not, or perhaps could not.

Some seconds later, the Metro token slipped from his hand. His fist had opened and then he was gone.

We realised he had fallen. By then the train had moved into the tunnel.

The train moved a few metres even after he fell and then it stopped. We could not see anything from inside the train. People were still shouting for help.

Not even a minute back we had seen the passenger rushing towards the train and somehow thrust his right hand inside the compartment. We kept shouting to him parben na, parben na, chhere din, chhere din (it will not be possible, let go). We told him that he will not be able to enter but he did not listen. The compartment was packed and all he could was to get his right fist inside the train.

Even while he was trying to board, passengers from inside had shouted out to him that he should let go. But he did not listen.

Janardan Ghosh, the eyewitness and passenger in the compartment where the right hand of Sajal Kumar Kanjilal had got stuck. Ghosh shows the call time when he had dialled the Metro helpline 182. He claimed that his call was picked up after three attempts.

Janardan Ghosh, the eyewitness and passenger in the compartment where the right hand of Sajal Kumar Kanjilal had got stuck. Ghosh shows the call time when he had dialled the Metro helpline 182. He claimed that his call was picked up after three attempts. Picture by Pradip Sanyal

Passengers inside the train were screaming for the train to stop. But the train was still moving and after sometime also left the platform. Passengers panicked and inside we were trying to help him. But it was not possible to do much from inside. There was no way in which we could reach out to Metro officials.

Passengers inside wondered what the RPF on the platform were doing. Why the train did not stop because he could be seen being dragged along? The train should have stopped before moving out of the platform.

People standing on the platform rushed towards him when they saw him getting dragged along by the moving train. But the train entered the tunnel and stopped only after the man had fallen. Even then people were screaming out of panic and shock.

Someone called the helpline number 182 and was told that the train was moving backwards but by then it was all over.

The passenger was perhaps also dead by then. We called up the helpline number and requested for an announcement so that we could understand what had happened.

But within a couple of minutes the air conditioner had been switched off. The lights were on though.

After 15 minutes there was an announcement asking us to walk towards the rear end of the train and get off from there.

We came out and tried to go towards the tunnel to see if we could still see him. But it was crowded and we could not see anything.

But the incident has left me shocked and traumatised. The man I later learnt was around my age and when we got off the train and tried to speak to the RPF they were very disrespectful.

I had boarded the train by mistake and I am still shocked thinking of what I witnessed.

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