ROURKELA: Panic gripped passengers onboard Bhubaneswar-bound Rajdhani Express after smoke was detected in an AC coach as it was approaching Rourkela station on Monday noon.
The smoke, however, was found to have been caused by a short-circuit after a mouse slid into the electricity supply line of the coach and came in contact with live wires. It did not flare up into a fire or cause any major damage.
Passengers first noticed smoke emanating in the B-7 AC coach near Manoharpur in Jharkhand, about one hour away from Rourkela. A technician of the train Sushant Hembram said short circuit occurred in the 750 volts main supply system as a mouse entered the main earthing and disconnecting device at Manoharpur.
The burning smell of mouse and smoke led to fear among passengers. As the supply feeder got automatically disconnected, the smoke stopped and the train left from Manoharpur, he said.
However, there was smoke emission again near Tilkanagar when the train was a few minutes away from Rourkela station. Passengers in the coach heard a loud noise and rushed towards the toilet to see smoke billowing. This led to commotion in the coach as the passengers apprehended fire mishap.
The smoke reoccurred due to remnants of the mouse and this time, passengers stopped the technicians from correcting the fault in the running train. Hembram said necessary rectification was done at Rourkela station.
Sources said that mice-caused short circuits are common in Rajdhani Express. Although the main earthing and disconnecting device is covered with a plate, it fails to prevent mice from entering.
Kolkata-based chief spokesperson of South Eastern Railway Sanjay Ghosh there was no fire due to the incident and after due repairs, the train left Rourkela at 2.14 pm.