Kanpur accident, a Lesson – IR plans to deploy Rescue & Relief material at all Stations now

New Delhi:  The fatal accident in Kanpur where a woman train passenger died while trying to deboard comes nearly two years after a similar tragedy here. Around 9.45pm on November 16, 2011, businessman Bhagwan Porwal fell while boarding an Indore-bound train, and slipped into the gap between footboard of the train and the platform at the Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station, much like Sunday’s incident when the woman traveller reportedly lost her balance in an effort to alight before the train came to a stop, from the opposite direction.

Two years hence, Hazrat Nizamuddin seems to have learnt its lessons. Porwal lay unattended for about 90 minutes before he was extricated and shifted to an ambulance in a wheelbarrow-there was no stretcher-which finally took him to AIIMS, where he succumbed to his injures. Officials at the station have now created an Emergency Equipments Room where freshly procured stretchers, wheelchairs, first-aid equipment and gas cutters are kept.

Station Managers say that first-aid equipment has been stored at several points throughout the station to ensure medical supplies in need. Railway officials claim to have a basic level of vigilance in place to address medical emergency at Delhi stations. However, without regular medical drills, their preparation is yet to be tested.

“We have set up a monitoring station with CCTVs and stationed an ambulance from 8am to 8pm. More stretchers have been procured, along with wheelchairs,” says a senior official. “We have our central and divisional hospitals and our medical staff, including doctors and nurses, can be pressed into service,” says Neeraj Sharma, CPRO, Northern Railway.

In Japan on July 22, a woman got trapped between the footboard and the platform but was rescued after 40 passengers pushed and tilted the train. Northern Railway says this may not be possible here as heavier composite material is used in Indian trains.