Services on Mumbai suburban network’s Western line came to grinding halt on Wednesday evening during peak hours after a tree branch fell on the overhead equipment (OHE) and led to a short circuit.
Lakhs of suburban commuters travelling towards Virar were inconvenienced due to the incident.
According to preliminary information, the tree branch fell on the OHE between Mahalaxmi and Lower Parel stations on the slow down line around 6:30 pm.
The incident caused the overhead wires near Elphinstone station to short circuit, following which two minor blasts took place in the pantograph connected to a Borivali slow train.
The blasts were followed by a fire, which caused the stranded commuters to panic. However, WR officials were quick to alert the fire department, who brought the blaze under control.
“Immediately after the incident was reported, a team of engineers and other workers swung into action. However, as the team was doing the needful, one more branch of the tree fell, which was removed by 7.30 pm,” WR chief PRO Ravindra Bhakar told PTI.
Western Railway officials diverted the slow line services on fast corridor to cater to commuters travelling on the Churchgate-Virar route. But despite their best efforts, commuters reported delays between 30 to 90 minutes.
The unforeseen delay also led to overcrowding at major stations like Lower Parel, Dadar, Bandra and Andheri.
Thousands of commuters were left stranded in the trains and platforms with little or no information initially as WR authorities took time to communicate the exact cause of the incident.
“A tree branch fell on OHE bet Mahalaxmi- L Parel on Down slow line.Problem attended.Traffic resumed, to be normal soon @airnewsalerts,” Western Railway tweeted following the incident.
While services on the Western line have resumed as of publishing this article, they are yet to return to normalcy.
Meanwhile, some services have been cancelled and others, which had been diverted from Mahalaxmi, Elphinstone and Matunga Road stations, were restored at 8:37 pm.
More details are awaited.
The Western line, incidentally, had witnessed the least amount of disruptions during the last four days when heavy rains continued to lash the city.
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