Delhi Metro services disrupted after train breakdown

New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) Thousands of travellers on Delhi Metro's busy Jahangirpuri-HUDA City Centre line had a harrowing time Tuesday morning with services disrupted for nearly two hours after a train broke down inside a tunnel. Normalcy was restored on the route after two hours, an official said.

Passengers, including children and women, were stuck inside the train for over an hour as it stalled in a tunnel between Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhawan Metro stations since 9.24 a.m. due to a technical snag.

"An eight-coach Metro train carrying 1,791 passengers was stranded in mid-section between Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhawan Metro Station, as the emergency brake which got applied, did not get released. The snag was reported at 9.24 a.m. and the problem was rectified at 11 a.m.," a Delhi Metro official said in a statement.

However, the passengers, who were stuck, themselves pushed open the emergency exit and came out on the track, thus delaying rescue operations as well as passage on the opposite track.

"Passengers present in the snag-hit train pushed open the emergency door of the train on their own and came on to the track towards Central Secretariat without authorization.

"Some passengers also entered the adjacent track which was meant for the movement of passengers travelling from Huda City Centre towards Jahangirpuri. So we had to order stoppage of trains on this track also as a precautionary measure before starting the rescue operation," the Metro official said.

"We were not able to send a rescue train to push the stranded train to the next station as it would have endangered the public moving on the tracks. Instead, the Metro technical teams rectified the problem of the train which had the problem and the train was run at a restricted speed and taken to Green Park Metro station," official said.

Expressing concern at the failure, Delhi Metro managing director Mangu Singh has appointed a three-member committee to enquire into its cause.

"Metro technical system are designed in fail-safe manner to ensure protection of passengers in the case of malfunctioning of any of the sub-systems of the train. A committee has been set up to enquire into the causes of the failure and to suggest additional methodologies to manage the evacuation procedures in an underground tunnel," Singh said.

The break-down caused major delays in the running of the trains and stranded thousands of commuters for hours on the line between Jahangirpuri and HUDA City Centre in Gurgaon.

"The train service were halted for about two hours because of the train that had broken down. Thankfully, the air-conditioner and lights inside the train and the tunnels were working," Umesh Jha, a commuter stuck in the train, told IANS.

Six trips between Jahangirpuri and HUDA City Centre and four round trips between Vishwavidyalaya and Qutub Minar were cancelled.

"After the service became normal at 11 a.m., we sent two empty trains from Vishawvidyalaya to Rajiv Chowk and Kashmere Gate Metro Stations," the Metro official added.

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