Belagavi: Two youngsters’ quick presence of mind helped in averting a major train accident in Karnataka’s Belagavi on Friday. The youths ran for nearly 600 metres towards a speeding train to alert the loco pilot so that he could apply the brakes in time.
The incident took place near Khanapura, around 26km from Belagavi. A tree had fallen on the railway track and the duo; Areef Riyaz Syed (23) and his friend Toufiq Abdul (32), noticed it. Running against the time, the duo risked their lives and ran to alert the loco driver.
It was around 12.45pm in afternoon when the Kolhapur-Hyderabad Express was heading towards Khanapura from Desur station. At this time, the duo were heading to Belagavi city to bring back a television set which they had given for repair. The moment they saw an uprooted tree on the railway track, they swung into action.
Speaking to News 18, Riyaz said that he and his friend Toufiq saw that some people were trying to clear the fallen tree from the railway track. “Soon, we heard a train siren suggesting that train was close. We wanted to do something to save the passengers in the train. Hence, we began to run towards the train," Riyaz said.
The duo screamed and used their shirts to wave to the driver. The loco pilot saw the boys and applied the brakes in the nick of time. The train came to a halt just 15 metres away from where the tree had fallen.
“Until the train approached close to us, we kept running. We were not sure whether the loco pilot heard what we were screaming. When the train come close, we decided to jump off the track. Finally, he halted the train very near to the tree,” Riyaz said while explaining the series of events that followed before the train came to a halt.
Hundreds of passengers were commuting in the Kolhapur-Hyderabad train, which may have led to a major tragedy but the Good Samaritan act of the duo saved their lives.
According to sources, loco pilot PP Pawar thanked Riyaz and Toufiq for their presence of mind. Pawar reportedly made a special mention of Riyaz and Toufiq in the incident report sent to railways.