A major train tragedy on the Delhi-Saharanpur route, about five km from Muzaffarnagar, was averted on Sunday morning thanks to the quick thinking of three youngsters, all 11 years of age.
The trio, Sagar, Shakti and Nishant, residents of a small hamlet near Kharad, were taking their regular morning walk near the railway line when they noticed a half-metre-long fracture on the tracks between Thanabhawan and Heend railway stations.
Realising that this spelt a big disaster for the Delhi-bound 4SSD passenger train that was due to pass shortly, the youngsters rushed to the railway crossing to alert the authorities and the driver.
Nishant, the son of a gunman from the farm, ran to fetch a red handkerchief, while his friend Shakti took off the red pullover he was wearing and waved it at the train that was speeding their way.
The driver, Ratan Singh, noticing the frantic warning of the youngsters, brought the train to a halt. The boys led Singh to the spot, who then patted the boys for gauging the danger and for their quick thinking that averted a tragedy.
It took nearly 80 minutes to repair the broken track after which the train left the spot, but not before the boys were cheered by the station master, the passengers and the villagers alike.
The Special Superintendent of Police Muzaffarnagar, Amrendra Kumar Sengar has forwarded the names of Nishant, Shakti and Sagar for the President’s award for the bravery.