The passengers on the Mumbai-Pune Pragati Express had no idea that their train’s driver saved their lives on Friday.
Around 4.50pm, the express train was zipping on the fast corridor close to a road overbridge at Ghatkopar when a stone shattered the windshield of the engine and hit the driver, Pradip Kumar.
“Kumar suffered injuries on his hand and chest, but he managed to drive the train until Kalyan,” said a senior Central Railway (CR) official, on condition of anonymity. A message was relayed to Kalyan station, where standby driver Arun Gawli was waiting to take over. The engine was changed at Ambarnath station. Kumar was admitted to Kalyan hospital.
The railway officials will probe into the incident. “These thick windshields don’t easily break. There is a possibility that a stone could have fallen from the road overbridge. We will check if some repair work was on,” said a CR official. Another possibility is that someone could have hurled a stone at the train.
R Jain, the new divisional railway manager of Central Railway, gave Kumar Rs1,000 as reward for his bravery.