New Delhi: Delhi Metro commuters had a harrowing time today as an overhead wire snapped at Yamuna Bank station during the evening peak hours, forcing passengers to cross the tracks by opening the emergency doors.
The incident happened around 6.15 PM as the train came to an abrupt halt while approaching the station from the Lakhsmi Nagar side.
Services went haywire on Blue Line, one of the busiest corridors, as trains stopped at various stations across the entire corridor due to a cascading effect.
“During Over Head Electrification (OHE) repair one of the trains approaching Yamuna Bank from Laxmi Nagar got held up mid section and passengers opened the emergency doors,” Delhi Metro said in a statement.
It claimed there was further delay in carrying out repair work due to this and services are “running normally” between Noida and Dwarka section.
However, overcrowded trains resulted in further delay as the automated gates took time to shut which is essential for a metro to start running.
Blue Line is considered to be snag-prone. Even yesterday all the trains on this corridor slowed down at around 11.50 AM as they were not achieving their target speed which averages around 36 km/hour.
According to officials, after waiting for 15 minutes, passengers opened the emergency door at the end of train and rushed to nearby stations. “There was a panic as the train was not moving. Few passengers opened the emergency gate, which is at the end of the train and came on platform. The train was going towards Yamuna Bank so few passengers reached to Yamuna Bank while few walked till Laxmi Nagar,” said Suresh, a metro traveler.
According to DMRC official, train could not be moved as passengers came on track and over 20 trains were in queue leading to heavy rush at metro stations on Dwarka line.
“During OHE repair one of the trains approaching Yamuna Bank from Laxmi Nagar got held up mid section and passengers opened the emergency doors as a result there was further delay in carrying out repair work. However Services are running normal between Noida and Dwarka section,” said a DMRC spokesperson.
The ordeal finally ended around 7.45pm, as around 50 passengers refused to get off on the track, forcing the Delhi Metro to let the train remain standing on the track till they de-boarded. Normal services could only be resumed at 8.06pm on the Yamuna Bank to Vaishali section.
According to the Delhi Metro, the train got stuck on the track due to the shorting of the OHE. Interestingly, trains on the Vaishali-Yamuna Bank section were running on a short loop due to a strand of the OHE snapping near platform 4 of the Yamuna Bank station.
Said Dayal, “A strand of OHE wire had snapped at the Yamuna Bank station at 6:15pm. This OHE was being repaired when the train, approaching from the Laxmi Nagar station towards Yamuna Bank also halted due to the shorting of the OHE at that location.”
Officials added that a crow was also found electrocuted at the OHE location on the Yamuna Bank.
So what prompted Delhi Metro to let the train remain halted on the track for almost half hour?
Delhi Metro claims it had planned to move the train, and not let commuters de-board. “The train was to be moved to Laxmi Nagar when the commuters opened the emergency doors,” said Dayal.
According to the Delhi Metro, the driver made announcements about the plan to move the train but commuters had a different tale to tell. Commuters stuck inside say that no announcements were heard.
The hour long ordeal led to chaos along the entire Dwarka sector 21-Vaishali corridor. Trains were delayed as commuters waited at stations along the corridor for as long as 45 minutes. Five trains had to be put on hold at platforms between Yamuna Bank and Vaishali section. Even the Dwarka sector 21-Noida section was affected as the incident led to bunching of trains.
While Delhi Metro says that normalcy was restored after 8.06pm, commuters could feel the effect of the snag till late in the evening.