At least 16 passengers were taken ill after dense smoke engulfed an air-conditioned coach of the Kolkata Metro between Rabindra Sadan and Maidan stations on Thursday. Smoke was seen billowing out of the Dum Dum-bound metro rake following a major fire on the train. The incident took place at about 4:50 pm after the train left the Maidan station this afternoon. However, passengers have been evacuated within an hour of the mishap.
"The fire was doused by the metro staff using water from fire hydrants. West Bengal Fire Service and Kolkata Police Disaster Management group are attending," the Kolkata Metro clarified on Twitter.
Speaking to media on Kolkata Metro fire, Aparajita Rai, Additional Deputy Commissioner said, "There are no casualties, 16 people have been injured, all have been taken to SSKM Medical College. It was an accident, there was a small spark in the front portion of the metro".
"We are relieved there was no casualty. We called in the police and fire brigade as soon as we heard of the smoke. The train was stopped and metro workers tried to tackle with fire extinguishers," senior official Indrani Banerjee told reporters.
An incident of fire between Rabindra Sadan and Maidan around 5pm. The fire put off by our staff through water from fire hydrants. West Bengal fire service & Kolkata Police disaster management group are attending. All passengers have been safely evacuated by 6pm. Pl do not panic.— METRO RAIL KOLKATA (@metrorailwaykol) December 27, 2018
Panic gripped over 1,500 passengers, who accused the authority of not taking immediate action about the situation. On this, officials said if the driver did not make an announcement, the matter will be investigated further.
The incident resulted in slow movement of traffic in several roads including AJC Bose Road towards PTS, Amir Ali Avenue towards 7 Point, Maa Flyover towards 7 Point, SN Banerjee Road and ATM Road towards Exide. The Metro services have been also suspended temporarily due to the fire incident at Maidan Metro station.
Truncated services are now running between Central to Noapara both UP and DN and Mahanayak Uttam Kumar to Kavi Subhash both UP and DN... Additional services between Dumdum and Noapara....— METRO RAIL KOLKATA (@metrorailwaykol) December 27, 2018
In a similar incident in 2014, a train between the Park Streets and Maidan stations got stuck inside a tunnel for long.