Bhubaneswar, April 8: The Ahmedabad-Puri Express (18406) 22 coaches travelled for at least 15 kilometres without an engine last night in Odisha’s Balangir district. Reportedly, the skid brakes on the wheels had not been applied which in turn resulted in the detachment of the engine from the rest of the coaches. The incident occurred at 10 pm on Saturday night while the train was at Titlagarh in Odisha’s Balangir district.
Passengers of the Ahmedabad-Puri Express had a blink-and-miss with death. However, no casualties have been reported and passengers remained unharmed, said Divisional Railway Manager of Sambalpur Jaideep Gupta. Taking cognisance of the incident which could have resulted in a major accident, two Railway employees were suspended with immediate effect said Gupta.
Reacting to the incident, East Coast Railway officials said that the persons-in-charge either did not apply the skid brakes altogether or placed them improperly which led to this unfortunate incident.
Watch the video here:
In this video by ANI, one can see the coaches of the Ahmedabad-Puri express rolling down towards Kesinga side near Titlagarh as the section from Titlagarh towards Kesinga has a downward slope. Since it was risky to stop the train altogether on a downward slope, the train was halted by keeping stones on the railway tracks. Meanwhile, the level crossing gates were closed by the control room. Thereafter, the coaches were brought from Kesinga to Titlagarh using another engine and hence the train was attached to the main train. This whole process took about an hour.
Stating passengers safety to be of paramount importance, Sambalpur Divisional Railway Manager Jaideep Gupta said that the Indian Railways would never compromise on it and hence a probe has been initiated to look into the incident.