Mock drill takes Railway Staff by surprise at Sabarmati

AHMEDABAD: The railway authorities conducted a mock drill in the railway yard near Sabarmati railway station without informing employees about it. Hence, railway employees were alarmed when, at 10 am on Friday, the emergency siren began wailing. Soon the ‘news’ spread that a passenger train had derailed near the Sabarmati railway station. A medical emergency team and a rescue train were immediately dispatched to the spot. The first train left for the ‘accident site’ within 30 minutes of the incident. A total of 200 employees took part in the mock drill.

Officials said that as the news spread, Divisional Railway Manager Alok Tiwari got together his team and rescue operations began. The Railways flashed the message that one AC coach had derailed and about 20 passengers were trapped inside the coach.

The team reached the site and used modern coach-cutters to ‘cut the coach’ and evacuate people. Meanwhile, the health team set up an emergency medical camp while the communication unit was ready with a satellite phone and even cellular phones.

A total of 200 employees rushed to the spot and began rescue operations. However, according to senior officials, the entire operation was called off about three-and-a-half hours of the incident and the track was ‘cleared for train movement’ at 1:25 pm.

Officials said that as the mock drill was conducted in the railway yard, movement of the trains was not affected at all. They said that the alert about the ‘accident’ was flashed soon after a passenger train left Ahmedabad railway station so that officials did not realize that it was a mock drill.