Train services in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh were thrown into chaos after a station master reportedly passed out while under the influence of alcohol.
The incident occurred in Murshadpur, about 50 miles east of Delhi, whose train station lies on a busy route used by several express trains.
On Friday evening, however, services ground to a halt when station master Deep Singh allegedly vanished from his post. Without the station master’s green light to enter the station, scheduled services were forced to stop outside Murshadpur.
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Northern Railway officials were “sent into a tizzy” as delays piled up with Singh nowhere to be found, the Deccan Herald reports.
Finally, extra staff - including a new station master - arrived at Murshadpur, where they allegedly discovered the absent controller passed out on his bunk alongside empty liquor bottles.
An unnamed official told the Herald that Singh was “dead drunk and could barely walk”. Blood tests conducted at a nearby hospital confirmed high levels of alcohol in the station master’s system.
“It is a very serious matter,” a Northern Railway official said yesterday. “We will take stern action against the guilty station master.”
This is not the first time that Indian train services have been derailed by managerial overindulgence.
In 2016, the Times of India reported that a station master in Rajasthan had been suspended after passing out drunk while on duty at a station near the Pakistan border, leaving an express train stranded outside the station waiting for clearance.
“Water was poured on the stationmaster,” the paper said. “But he fell down again.”
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