MALDA, 18 APRIL: Kolkata bound Darjeeling Mail had a save when the train developed trouble at Kishangunj and traveled with it about 150 km to reach Malda last night. Although the railway officials described it as a minor flaw, the passengers were panicked with the disturbances created in AC compartment.
It is learnt that 12344 DN had left Kishangunj station around 9.15 pm. Soon after the train left the station the passengers of B-5 compartment of AC-3 tier heard an unusual sound coming from the vestibule. It was found a huge sound generating from the joint of the coaches. The panicked passengers drew the attention of AC attendant but he could do little to minimize the sound. In this way the train traveled almost 150 km to reach Old Malda where it stopped at the signal. The passengers then were outrageous and drew the attention of railway officials. But it could not be checked there either. However, it was decided that at Malda Town Station it would be attended.
At 11.45 pm when the train reached Malda Town Station it was found that a belt was torn at the wheel and it was hitting the body of the compartment. Mechanics attended the train and it was restored. Divisional railway manager (DRM) of Malda railway division R Gupta said, “The alternative rubber belt of the wheel was torn and it was attended duly.” He also rubbished the chance of possible danger saying, “There are number of such belts and tearing of one should not cause an accident.”
The passengers like Piu Ghosh or Rahul Chatterjee was, however, not assured. “We have got the unnatural sound since Kishangunj and thought that vacuum pipe or coupling was damaged. We feared of major calamity.”
A source of railways, however, claimed that although such a torn wheel might not cause accident itself, any sudden brake could have created a major disruption.