New Delhi: In a major lapse, a packed Delhi Metro train Thursday sped between two stations on an elevated corridor with doors open on one side. The train operator has been suspended.
Hundreds in the Yellow Line train were taken aback as the train left Arjangarh at 9.40 a.m. with its doors still open, the metro realizing the blunder only when it reached Ghitorni station two minutes later.
Surprisingly, there was not much of a panic and passengers quickly moved away from the open doors. A few coolly recorded the bizarre scene on their mobile cameras.
The train was plying between Huda City Centre in Haryana and Jahangirpuri in Delhi. Arjangarh is the last station in Haryana and Ghitorni the first in Delhi on this section.
Delhi Metro admitted that "prima facie it is an error by the train operator and he has been suspended with immediate effect. The matter is being investigated".
A Metro spokesperson told IANS that it would be difficult to guess how many people were in the train as the incident happened during morning peak rush hour.
An eight-coach metro train often carries 100-150 people in every coach.
Livid passengers hit out at Delhi Metro.
"It is a major safety lapse and indicates utter carelessness by Delhi Metro," Soubhik Mukherjee, who travels on the Yellow Line six days a week, told IANS.
Another commuter said Delhi Metro used to be considered as the best public transport system in India.
"But it is slowly starting to show cracks with delayed trains, frequent breakdowns and now this. It is very unfortunate," he said.
The incident -- the first of its kind since the Metro services started in December 2002 -- went against its own claims that Metro coaches were designed "for maximum comfort and safety".
The Delhi Metro web site says the coaches have automatic door opening and closing mechanism and that a train cannot move unless all the doors were closed and locked.
"If a door opens accidentally in the moving train, brakes will apply automatically, bringing the train to a halt," it says.
But this clearly did not happen Thursday, raising questions about safety.
Delhi Metro ferries about 23 lakh passengers daily, with close to 7-8 lakh on the Yellow Line.