A runaway locomotive travelled nearly 12 kilometres with no crew on board.
It happened on Friday night when the stationary engine of a goods train suddenly got moving while its crew was left on ground at Goldinganj railway station. It travelled 12 kms to Dighwara railway station of Chapra-Sonepur section before it could be stopped at around 10.30 pm.
According to the station superintendent of Dighwara junction, Indramohan Jha, the goods train's engine had been stationed at Goldinganj after developing a snag. The driver and his assistant driver had got down to fix it. Even as the duo was busy rectifying the problem, the coupling snapped and the engine started moving with the two drivers left behind.
When the railway officials of Bada Gopal station saw the unmanned engine speeding past they warned Dighwara officials who managed to stop the locomotive by derailing it at crossing no. 15.
The driverless engine ran for nearly 40 minutes. Engine driver Shailendra Kumar Singh, his assistant Jamdari Rai and the guard of the goods train C Singh have been suspended while a three-member inquiry panel has been set up to probe the incident.
Interestingly, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav is to launch an ambitious plan on Monday to double the track between Chapra Kachahari and Dighwara stations.