Number of accidents on roads have been steadily increasing in India. In one such unfortunate and catastrophic incident, a driverless tram crashed cars in Calcutta. This accident occurred in the morning at around 10 AM between Ballygunge Phari and Ballygunge tram depot. An investigation into the incident has been started and the reports are awaited. However, the primary opinion appears that it was a result of power outage.
The trams in Calcutta are connected to livewire overhead via cables. The tram becomes standstill as soon as any cable loses its power supply. On this unfortunate day, the pouring rain led to power failure. Resultantly, the tram number 516 which was following the Rajabajar-Garihat route came to a standstill just outside the tram depot.
What we can deduce from logical explanation is that the tram was still on the ‘on’ mode while the driver exited. As soon as the power returned, the driverless tram started along its journey and crossed the stop sign at Ballygunj Phari traffic signal and headed for a crash with some 20 to 25 cars that were heading towards the green traffic signal. As per the reports, the tram smashed 8-9 cars in less than 10 minutes.
Fortunately, a local boy Dinesh Lal saw the accident as it unfolded and had enough presence of mind to hop on the tram and pull the stop lever thereby bring the tram to a halt from causing any further harm. Some pictures of the incident has surfaced on internet clearly revealing how fatal the damages could have been. So far, the reported damage is restricted to cars involved only.
Operating since the year 1902, the Calcutta Tramways Company’s many lines are too old and are now beyond repair. However, some action has to be taken since it is turning dangerous for commuters to travel in these trams.
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Source – Rushlane