VELLORE: Passengers aboard an Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) pressed the panic button after spotting a water wagon in front of their train at Katpadi Railway Junction on Tuesday. Mistaking the wagon’s rear engine to be its main engine, the passengers thought the wagon would move towards them.
The Jolarpet-Arakkonam EMU, after moving a little away from the Katpadi junction towards Arakkonam, was halted at the home signal. Passengers aboard the train saw another train -- a water wagon ferrying Cauvery water to Chennai from Jolarpet -- stopped before their’s about 100 metres away.
They mistook the locomotive moving towards them and took videos before uploading them on social media platforms and forwarding them to several news channels. A few channels aired live phone-in broadcast as if a major accident was averted.
Panic and tension prevailed for a while at the Katpadi junction. Railway officers and technicians rushed to the place where both the trains were halted on the same railway line. The Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Police (RPF) personnel also rushed to the spot. The officers told passengers that their scare was unfounded as the water wagon would have moved away from them and the engine they saw was on the wagon’s rear.
“The water wagon was actually halted due to technical issues at the home signal and the EMU was stopped behind it,” explained a senior Southern Railway official. He added that the videos uploaded on social media platforms had created unnecessary tension and put undue pressure on the officials. Both the passenger train and the water wagon were allowed to proceed after an hour-long halt.
The water wagon was actually halted due to technical issues at the home signal behind the Electric Multiple Unit