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Newsmen Bureau

Kolkata, 20 August: Thousands of passengers had a close shave on Thursday evening after two suburban passenger trains came face-to-face on line number 4 at Dum Dum station, narrowly averting a head-on collision.

A faulty signal was responsible for the opposite direction trains rolling onto the same line, railway authorities said on the basis of spot information, while ordering a detailed probe into the matter.

The incident that took place at 7.50 pm threw train services on the Sealdah main and north sections out of gear, with several trains with thousands of home-bound commuters in them getting stranded at both ends of Dum Dum station.

Angry passengers vandalised the control room and the two trains failed by signal at platform number 4 at Dum Dum. On-duty railway staff, fled from the station to evade the mob fury. Personnel of the Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force took to a lathi-charge to control the unruly crowd.

Biswajit Nandi, who was waiting for a train at Dum Dum platform number 2 said that around 7.50 pm he was shocked to see two trains ~ a Dankuni-Sealdah local and a Majerhat-Ranaghat local ~ entering the same platform number 4.

“As the two trains neared, some passengers on board the two trains and those waiting at the platform shouted out aloud and the trains stopped at once face-to-face to each other,” he said.

As a result, the train services remained paralysed for about two-hours till the two trains were pulled back through the loop-lines around 9.30 pm. This made scores of passengers to remain stranded at various stations along the Sealdah main and north sections.

At the time of filing this report, the  train services were slowly limping back to normalcy.