Express News Service
CHHATTISGARH: The passengers of the Vishakhapatnam-Jagdalpur-Kirandul express train had a miraculous escape after the vigilant train driver suspecting the missing fishplates of railway track over a bridge applied emergency brake in Maoist-affected Dantewada district in south Chhattisgarh.
“A major mishap was averted owing to the alert train drivers who noticed from a distance the railway track was somewhat trembling over a bridge. The emergency brake led to the derailment of the railway engine over a bridge during the small hours of Saturday”, Abhishek Pallava, Dantewada superintendent of police told the New Indian Express.
The bridge where the incident occurred is at a height of around 50-feet.
The security forces later assisted the passengers to reach their destinations at Bacheli and Kirandul in Dantewada.
Pallava said that at around 10 pm on Friday, the freight train had passed through the same track following which the Maoists removed the fishplates and awaited for the arrival of the passenger train.
After derailment, the Maoists boarded the train coaches, pasted their pamphlets and took away the railway drivers with them in the nearby forest.
“The drivers were beaten and their walkie-talkie sets snatched away by the Maoists, who for the first time had targeted the passenger train in south Chhattisgarh”, said the Dantewada district police chief.
Around 50 passengers, who awaited for their last two points of disembarkation, were panic-stricken following the incident.
Enroute from Jagdalpur to Kirandul, the train halts at four stations — Dilmili, Kaklur, Dantewada, Bacheli and finally terminate at Kirandul, the route falls in the region cited as stronghold of the outlawed CPI (Maoist).
Dantewada in south Chhattisgarh is among the seven Maoist-affected district in the conflict zone of Bastar.