Kolkata Metro derails, Mamata suspects `sabotage`

Eight days after a Metro train stalled inside a tunnel with passengers having to be evacuated, two coaches of an underground train derailed on Wednesday leading to panic and emergency evacuation.

Kolkata: Eight days after a Metro train
stalled inside a tunnel with passengers having to be
evacuated, two coaches of an underground train derailed on Wednesday
leading to panic and emergency evacuation.

The derailment occurred at 9:30 am with lights inside the
train going off adding to the confusion and passengers having
to be evacuated through the door of the driver`s cabin by the
police and fire brigade, police said.
Though no passenger was injured, some complained of
uneasiness and one was taken ill and was rushed to the Medical
College Hospital, they said.

Metro Railway sources said the railway staff and RPF
personnel assisted in the evacuation.

On October 12 on the eve of the Durga Puja festival, a
Metro train had stalled just before entering Sobhabazar with
angry passengers ransacking the station afterwards.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who is the
Railway Minister did not rule out sabotage saying that
accidents were sometimes planned.
"At times, accidents are created in a planned way.
Whether it was an accident or otherwise will be specifically
probed. I am trying to ascertain who are behind it," Banerjee
told reporters, adding that an inquiry had been ordered.

Describing the derailment as "a small and unfortunate
incident" Railway minister said, "Planes crash at times, but
will people stop boarding aircraft in future? Don`t spread
panic. Altogether 17,000 trains run across the country each
day."

Banerjee alleged that the CPI(M) stalled trains with
banana leaves, did not allow doors of Metro trains to close
and was up to "other mischief". "When assembly elections are
near, the CPI(M) will engage in such mischief."

Asked to comment on CPI(M)`s criticism of her handling of
the underground railway, Banerjee quipped "the West Bengal
government itself has derailed."

Home Secretary G D Gautama said a disaster management
team was sent to the station for assisting in evacuating
passengers, "but until the Metro Authority seeks our help we
can`t do anything. They were not called to help.

"When the situation was posing a threat to law and order,
I ordered them go and assist in the operations to evacuate
passengers," he said.

The Metro Authority was supposed to keep a standby
arrangement at all stations for emergency evacuation and law
and order, but the authorities of the underground railway had
not done so as yet, he said.

The Home Secretary said the Chief Secretary would hold a
meeting with the Metro Rail General Manager Amarnath tomorrow,
but later Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta said the date was yet
to be finalised.

Describing the derailment as "dangerous" Kolkata Police
Commissioner Goutam Mohan Chakraborty said, "We need to hold a
meeting with the rail authority to sort out the problems
arising out of disorder in operation and help in quick
evacuation and controlling law and order."

Buddhadeb express grave concern over Metro derailment

West Bengal Chief Minister
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today expressed `grave concern` over
the derailment of two coaches of a Metro train here and said
measures need to be taken to ensure passengers` safety.

He said he had received a report on the derailment from
Kolkata police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty and had
directed Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh to call a meeting on its
basis.

"For us, the prime concern is the safety of passengers. I
am seriously concerned. Measures have to be taken to ensure
this," he said.

PTI

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