Escalator malfunction at Andheri station could have led to a stampede, says commuter
An ascending escalator at Andheri station suddenly moving in reverse led to the WR fixing all 17 faulty ones on the route
After an escalator at the crowded Andheri station malfunctioned on Monday evening, moving in reverse and causing panic, the WR on Tuesday said that it had found issues with 17 other escalators on the western line and was working on fixing them. The escalator at the Churchgate end of Andheri's platform 3 moving upwards suddenly went into reverse mode on Monday, injuring one passenger in the ensuing panic.
Western Railway officials acknowledged the problem but said that the reverse motion stopped immediately. They also mentioned that 17 such escalators have been identified at different railway stations and they were being fixed on priority.
"The escalator on Andheri station platform no. 3 is a faulty one. Suddenly it started to move in the reverse direction injuring many people. The Railways should take strict action against the maintenance department," said commuter and IT professional, Amey Save, who was the first to tweet about the incident on Monday evening.
He further said that the Railways should get a safety survey of the escalators done.
"I request the Railways to arrange for a survey by IIT-B and they should also mention the precautionary measures to avoid an emergency situation. Also, some guards should be posted near the escalators during peak hours to monitor them and crowd movement as well," Save said. He also mentioned that he had filed a formal complaint on the Rail Madad App. He further added that when the incident occurred, there were a number of people on the escalator and the situation could have led to a stampede.
Retired Income Tax officer Narendra L Soneji also took to social media and said, "It is a very serious lapse on the part of the Railways (WR). It is playing with the lives of passengers."
Amey Save, commuter and IT professional
Mahesh Patil of Dahanu Vaitarna Pravasi Seva Sanstha (DVPSS) told mid-day that he had taken up the issue with divisional railway manager at Mumbai Central GVL, Satyakumar, who assured him that the problem would be looked into on priority and fixed immediately.
When mid-day visited the site, the escalator in question was shut for public use and several technicians from the company that manufactured it along with railway officials were inspecting it. A senior WR official said that a passenger suffered minor injuries in the incident and that he was treated with first-aid at the station's Emergency Medical Room.
Western Railway chief public relations officer, Ravinder Bhakar, said, "There was either some brake slippage issue or a mechanical failure in the motor's coupling system. But due to a number of protection measures in place, the escalator stopped immediately. Seventeen such escalators with similar issues are being attended to. Their motors are also being replaced as a preventive measure."
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