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Kolkata: Metro Railway ditched Kolkatans once again on Wednesday when normal life in the city was already partially hit by intermittent rain and thunderstorm.

Metro train services came to a grinding halt around 3.20 pm after sparks and smoke were noticed on the third rail at Mahanayak Uttam Kumar station at Tollygunge. The third rail is from which the trains draw power.

It was the driver of a New Garia-bound AC train who noticed the sparks and smoke soon after the train started from Tollygunge. He stopped the train and alerted Metro Railway control room.

The train was then reversed to the platform and the passengers were made to get down from the train. After this, power supply to the third rail was suspended and a Metro electrical team rushed to the spot where spark and smoke were emitting from.

Train services between New Garia and Rabindra Sadan stations were suspended. A truncated service between Noapara and Maidan stations continued but the trains moved at snail’s pace.

The electrical team discovered that a small tangle of galvanised iron wire had somehow fallen on the third rail at Tollygunge station yard and this was causing an electrical short-circuit leading to spark and smoke.

A Metro Railway spokesperson later maintained that the iron wire was probably dropped by birds from their nest in a tree branching over the railway tracks.

The train services on the full stretch between New Garia and Noapara resumed well after 5 pm. But the ripple effect in the form of delays and slow speed continued through the evening.