A mock drill on conducting rescue operation in case compartments of any train get derailed led to panic among people near Khalitpur Station in Malda on Friday afternoon. The Digha-Malda Express was chosen for the mock drill and as a part of the drill three compartments of the train got derailed before it had entered Khalitpur station.
People all around considered it to be a real accident and got panicked. They started crying for help and took steps to attract attention of railway officials in the station. It took place at around 1.30 pm and like a real accident, all concerned officials were found rushing to the spot without any delay. The rescue operation had also started and the rescue teams of the railways were found pressed into service. They were found taking passengers out of the derailed compartments. As it happens in most accidents, in Friday’s incident too, local people and traders approached to initiate the rescue work. But they were moved back as rescue workers of the railways had initiated the rescue work without giving any opportunity of creating a chaos in the area.
Malda Medcial College and Hospital authorities were also alerted. The railway officials always contact the nearest hospitals to make arrangement for treatment as many get injured in case of such accidents. People initially thought many people were seriously injured seeing rescue workers busy in their work to help injured people treated. But all were part of the mock drill.
According to a senior railway official, the drill had been successful as the purpose of checking the capability of the concerned people and techniques of conducting rescue works has been served.
Local people and traders were unaware of such a mock drill. Thus they had got a bit panicked initially. They had only realised that it was a mock drill later only after the entire operation was over.