Technical glitch gives 500 Metro passengers a scare

Published: 03 November, 2011 07:08 IST | Johnlee Abraham |

Five hundred excited commuters enjoying a ride on the Metro on Friday night were violently jolted back to reality when the train suddenly halted near Ulsoor Metro station with a thud

Five hundred excited commuters enjoying a ride on the Metro on Friday night were violently jolted back to reality when the train suddenly halted near Ulsoor Metro station with a thud.

It was initially thought to be the result of a short circuit as commuters could smell rubber burning. But when the 'emergency' signs began flashing inside the coaches, tension turned to mild panic.

The public announcement system in one of the three Metro
coaches shortly after commuters got a whiff of rubber burning

BMRCL officials were blissfully unaware of the development until this newspaper brought the issue to their notice.
Interestingly, chief spokesperson of BMRCL appeared to have no clue to what happened, and even attempted to attribute the reason for the sudden halt to a firecracker.

The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), who took over two weeks ago to provide the inspection report, has now ordered an inquiry into the incident and claims he will take the rail corporation to task once the report is filed.

Cold sweat
Sheena, a business analyst went for her first Metro ride along with her friends on October 28. However, as soon as the coaches were nearing the Ulsoor Metro station, the train stopped abruptly following a loud thud.

"The train suddenly stopped and we didn't know what had happened. The message screen began flashing the emergency sign and said there was some technical issue, due which the train had to be stopped," Sheena said.

The smell of burning rubber only fuelled the already panicky commuters further.

"We thought that there was some sort of short-circuit on the track as there was a strong smell of burning rubber, which seemed to be coming from the electrical cables. We were all stuck on the rails for over five minutes, but service resumed shortly after," she added.

The incident occurred at around 9.38 pm on Friday night and Metro authorities were unable to answer questions posed by shocked passengers.

'Firecracker did it'
Namma Metro currently has commuter strength of over 30,000 persons each day and in the future, it will be catering to lakhs more once services commence on other stretches. When MiD Day enquired about the incident, the Metro officials were clueless about what went wrong.

"Diwali has just got over and I think a fire cracker might have landed on the track, but we are not sure. However, it was just a minor technical glitch," said B L Yashwanth Chavan, chief spokesperson, BMRCL.

When the incident was brought to CRS for South Central Railways D K Singh's notice, he was furious.
"I will report the matter to the new Bangalore Metro CRS S K Mittal and we will get all the details as to what really happened and take action accordingly," said Singh.

Need to know
The train has power backup that can last for an hour and so the doors can be opened
Each station has emergency switches to shut down power
All Metro coaches have two-way communication system to talk to the driver 
Fire Extinguishers and hosepipes are available at all stations
If the Metro rail is stuck on the track, one can disembark on the pathway. w However, direct contact with the Metro track will result in electrocution.

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