Violence at Secunderabad station: major disaster averted

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As the violence unfolded at Secunderabad station on Friday, three railway engineers on board the Shalimar-Hyderabad East Coast train couldn’t help but worry about the 4,000 liters of diesel stored in the power car. As protesters began to smash the window of the locomotive, they rushed to security personnel and urged them to protect the car from the generator.

“We asked the RPF to save the generator car and they acted quickly. There were 4,000 liters of diesel inside and if, even by accident, the car caught fire, the whole place would have been engulfed in flames. It would have been very difficult to extinguish the flames. We had to get off and disconnect the car from the other coaches,” said Ram Pyare Puri, an air conditioning mechanic on board the train, adding that fellow mechanics Suman Kumar Sharma and Albert Barla also proceeded to uncouple the bogie. Two other locomotive engines contained 3,000 liters of transformer oil.

Mr Barla said they were locked in the generator car for at least half an hour to protect her.

Recalling the course of the violence, Mr. Barla said around 8:40 a.m., the demonstrators managed to stop the locomotive. They allegedly assaulted the driver and smashed the window. They then vandalized the parcel car. Later, using whatever they could find, they began breaking the windows of the remaining cars.

“As soon as they got violent, we told the passengers to get off the train immediately. We did our best to make sure the passengers got away unscathed. They are our Allah, Khuda, Bhagwan and God. They are everything to us. We had no idea this (violence) would happen,” said Mr. Sharma, the electric car mechanic.

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