Fear of the recurrence of the accident in which 66-year-old Sajal Kanjilal died, resurfaced among metro commuters today, when the doors of an air-conditioned rake refused to close despite engineers struggling to fix the glitch for around 15 minutes. Unlike 13 July, the metro authorities took no chance with the commuters’ safety and decided to escort the passengers to their destinations with RPF and station staff present in the coach.
The memories of the tragic death of the Kasba resident flashed back as this morning when the door of a Kavi Subhash-bound rake refused to close. According to the metro officials, at around 10.24 a.m. when the AC rake was about to start from Dum Dum Metro Station, the motorman pressed the button but found that one of the doors of the fifth coach was still open. The RPF and other station staff were alarmed who swung into action. A team of maintenance staff were called to fix the glitch who struggled for about 15 minutes but the door refused to close.
Considering the peak hour and huge crowd inside the rake and at various stations, the metro authorities then decided to escort the passengers at around 10.41 a.m. to their destinations in presence of RPF personnel, a maintenance staff and loco inspector. With door wide open and RPF and two metro staff guarding it, the passengers were thus carried till their respective stations until the rake reached the car shed at Kavi Subhash.
“As the rake could not be retrieved to the car shed, we decided to call the maintenance team to fix the glitch, informed a metro official. “After the problem in the door still existed, we decided to escort the passengers till Kavi Subhash in presence of the RPF and two metro staff,” added the official.
On 2 August, a Kavi Subhash bound metro was delayed by few minutes following the flaps of a door refusing to close. On 23 July, the doors of a rake allegedly closed on the hand of a commuter and his palm got stuck in between the door flaps padded with rubber.
Two coaches, according to metro sources, had already left the platform and entered the tunnel, while the commuter was in the third coach from the rear side of the rake. The RPF deployed on the station spotted the hand stuck between the doors and raised alarm. The motorman immediately applied the emergency brakes and stopped the rake. However, later it was found that the man had tried to keep his hand deliberately, attempting to prevent the door from closing. Today’s incident, however, has once again led to questions being raised on the safety aspects in AC rakes that are less aged than the fleet of the non-AC rakes.
The metro officials, however, cited overcrowding to be the reason for today’s snag. “Due to the heavy rush inside the coach, the rubber lining or the leaf of the door got pressed and the door could not be closed,” informed metro official. “The rubber lining was fixed at the car shed and the rake was resumed to service at around 4.30pm,” added the official.