Tuesday, August 24, 2010

THE HINDU
Monday, Aug 23, 2010
Collision between trains averted
Ananya dutta
KOLKATA: A major train accident was averted at Sankrail station in West Bengal's Howrah district on Sunday as two trains coming in opposite directions on the same line stopped just short of a collision. The incident that occurred about a month after the July 19 train collision at Sainthia that claimed over 60 lives was followed by violent protests at Sankrail station with passengers vandalising the Station Master's cabin and damaging the signalling equipment.
Around 3.20 p.m., Howrah-bound East Coast Express from Hyderabad and a local train found themselves on the same track at the station. The trains had come within 200 metres of each other before they came to a halt, said Soumitra Majumdar, Chief Public Relations Officer of South Eastern Railway. The station had three lines, of which one had a reversible signalling system where both up and down trains can pass.
“The signal had been so arranged that the two trains were to have passed through different lines. The local train was supposed to have waited outside Sankrail station and after it stopped, East Coast Express would have crossed over to the down line,” Mr. Majumdar said. Prima facie it appeared that the driver of the local train, R. Khan, “overshot the passing at danger signal,” Mr. Majumdar said. After the trains stopped, Mr. Khan tried to take the train back. He has been suspended. Infuriated passengers went on a rampage complaining of negligence by the authorities.
While Mr. Khan was immediately suspended, an inquiry into the incident will look into “all angles,” Mr. Majumdar said.

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