NORTH CENTRAL RAILWAY CONDUCTS A FULL SCALE ‘MOCK DRILL’ SIMULATING A MAJOR PASSENGER-RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT CHANDARI STATION OF KANPUR
On the 30thNovember, 2018, the North Central Railway conducted a full-scale mock drill simulating a major railway accident of a passenger-carrying train between the Chandari Station and Kanpur Loco Cabin, (near the Kanpur Old Loco Shed), on the Allahabad Division of the NCR. The drill was planned and coordinated by the Safety Department of Zonal Railway under the overall guidance of Chief Safety Officer (CSO)/NCR Shri S K Kashyap. The mock drill was aimed at evaluating and testing the preparedness of the Allahabad Division and all other responders in case of a major train accident on the busiest railway route of the Zonal Railway. In order to simulate the accident, two railway coaches were positioned in such a manner so as to resemble a site of derailment along with coaches having climbed on top of each other, complete with mock-passengers, mock-casualties and mock-fatalities. Since a major accident of a passenger-carrying train was being simulated, the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) was co-opted in the exercise, with the aim of improving coordination with the same through the mock-drill. To further authenticate the exercise and enhance its positive impact on training and coordination, the mock-drill was kept a complete secret from all responders both inside the railways and outside it as well. This secrecy was so well maintained that it, interestingly, led the responding agencies, the local residents as well as a large section of the media to believe that an actual accident had happened.
The mock-passengers (railway personnel) who were ‘trapped’ in the ‘capsized’ coaches were ‘rescued’ by the railway and NDRF personnel by cutting the coaches extracting them from them using actual equipment. A total of 18 ‘injured’ were extracted out of the ‘affected’ coaches. A portable hospital was created on the site of the accident by the NDRF in which the ‘injured’ were given proper treatment.
As soon as the ‘news’ of the major accident on the above-mentioned site was given to the Kanpur and Allahabad Railway Controls, (at 11:00 hours in the morning), the same was relayed promptly to Civil Administration and Police. Both the Civil and the Police authorities responded promptly and dispatched local police, police vehicles, and ambulance to the site. From the Railways’ side, the Accident Relief Train (ART) of Kanpur, as well as the Accident Relief Medical Equipment (ARME) train were dispatched for the site well within the stipulated time along with railway doctors, and accident relief staff and materials. Railway personnel belonging to Operating, Commercial, Civil Defence, Scouts and Guides, RPF, Carriage and Wagon, Engineering, Loco, Signalling, and Medical participated in the mock drill and showed exceptional level of readiness and response. From the side of the Civil Administration DM & CO/GRP reached the ‘site’ of the ‘accident’ while from the Railways’ side, SrDSO, SrDME, DEN, DyCTM(Kanpur), DME, CMS etc were the officers who reached the site promptly.
During the entire mock-drill, ADRM/ALD shri AK Dwivedi and other senior officers remained present in the Allahabad Control. All in all, the mock-drill did send out alarm signals all around, but all for the good cause of best-possible preparedness for any such accident.