Passengers evacuated; service briefly hit.
New Delhi: A packed Delhi Metro train had to be evacuated on Thursday evening after thick smoke was detected from one of its coaches due to possible “sparks” in the air conditioning system. The train was immediately withdrawn from the service and services on the Delhi Metro’s busy Blue Line connecting Dwarka to Noida and Vaishali were briefly affected. The incident caused panic among the commuters during the evening peak hours.
Delhi Metro, which carries nearly 30 lakh passengers across its corridors daily, has reported no such incident before, although it said that its staff are trained to tackle situations like this.
Though the Metro authorities ruled it out as an incident of fire, Delhi Fire Services said it doused a “minor fire” in the affected train at the Kirti Nagar Yard where it was taken after being withdrawn from service.
Commuters detected smoke billowing out of the Vaishali-bound train’s last coach at around 4 pm at Patel Nagar station on the busy Blue Line. Thereafter, it was safely evacuated at the next stop at Rajendra Place station.
“The air conditioning system had smoke coming out of it due to probable fault in its control circuit that must have caused sparks. Some part of the smoke travelled through the HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) duct inside the coach and caused panic among passengers. But no fire could have spread as the coaches are made of materials that do not catch fire,” a Metro official said.
Three fire tenders were rushed to the spot, DFS said. The train was taken to Yamuna Bank Depot for further investigation, the metro official said.
“The smoke was reported in the last coach of train (six coach) by passengers at Patel Nagar station. As a precaution, the coach was evacuated in the next station. The train was thereafter withdrawn from the service and sent for investigation. But terming it as a fire would be an exaggeration,” a DMRC spokesperson said.
Services on Blue Line, that stretches between Noida City Centre/Vaishali to and Dwarka Sector 21, were hit briefly as the incident occurred minutes ahead of the peak hour.
Smoke could be seen near A/C vents and pantograph of the train in a few videos taken by passengers present on the spot, which quickly spread on social media.
“We were informed that smoke was emanating from the A/C duct and that the train has been sent to Kirti Nagar yard. We doused the minor fire there by 5.50 pm,” said a DFS officer.