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Kolkata Metro snag triggers panic among commuters

A morning-hour snag in a non-AC Metro rake off Park Street station today left passengers in a state of shock as the train stopped suddenly in the tunnel and the lights also went off

Kolkata: Hundreds of passengers had a harrowing time Monday inside a Kolkata Metro train trapped in a tunnel between Park Street and Maidan stations after a technical snag.

Thousands of commuters were inconvenienced when the services were disrupted after a Dum Dum-bound train developed a snag.

The incident, which took place at 11.25 AM, unnerved passengers who were either office-goers or school students and had to wait inside the pitch-dark train till the Metro authorities came to their rescue.

Kolkata metro commuter
A Kolkata Metro commuter (centre) is escorted out of the Park Street station after falling ill due to the train getting stuck in a tunnel. 

The passengers trapped inside the rake later said many of them suffered from breathlessness and fell sick, but the Metro authorities denied the claim.

"We were stranded in the dark for over two hours. There was no power. As the fans didn't work, we felt suffocated. Some fell sick," said a passenger on the train, which was not air-conditioned.

"It was a horrible experience. Physically, we felt exhausted and breathless. There were no lights. And there were no timely announcements about how they planned to rescue us," said another passenger.

Television cameras showed a trapped passenger apparently suffering from suffocation being carried by other passengers to the station.

The passengers also alleged that the rescue operation was delayed and hundreds of commuters feared for their life trapped inside the standing train.

"Engulfed in complete darkness, we were struggling to breathe and the announcement about a rescue operation was made nearly an hour later. While the fare has multiplied, the services continue to remain abysmal," one of the trapped commuters said after being rescued.

However, Metro Rail's chief public information officer R.N. Mahapatra denied that any of the passengers fell sick or the rescue operation was delayed.

"All the passengers were evacuated safely and timely. We have no reports of any of the passengers falling sick," he said.

After disruption of over three hours, the Metro's normal services resumed when the faulty train was removed from the tunnel.

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