A speeding train dragged a car, the wheels of which were stuck in the tracks, for about 600 m at a railway crossing in West Bengal that has been unguarded for years now. Yet another avoidable accident occurred at Kapashera in District East Midnapore. Tensions are running high in the area over the incident that flies in the face of the union government’s claim that all unmanned level crossings on broad gauge had been eliminated by 31 January 2019. Tracks on which local trains, technically known as electric multiple units or EMU, run on broad gauge tracks and this one has remained unmanned.
The effect of Cyclone Jawad had made the sky gloomy since the morning. Moderate to heavy rains have been falling in different parts of the state, affecting the visibility of train drivers and motorists alike. Caught in this situation, as the car tried to cross the tracks at a time when no train was nearby, a tyre got stuck in a crevice of a line at the unmanned level crossing between Tamluk and Haldia and Digha stations.
Meanwhile, the signal turned green and Haldia Local approached the spot at a furious speed. The car driver tried hard to get the vehicle off the tracks but failed.
Unable to save the car, the driver got out and tried to stop the train by waving wildly at the train that was approaching fast. That did not help.
The train came rushing and dragged the car about 600 m away. When it stopped, only mangled remains of the car were left. The news of the accident enraged the locals as they gathered in large numbers on the tracks, affecting the traffic of other trains as well.
Allegedly, the rail gate has been without guard for a long time. Informing the railways on multiple occasions has proved an exercise in futility. The spot has seen several accidents. Locals jammed the route for a long time today before dispersing.