Smoke sparks exodus at Kashmere Gate Metro station

Panic-stricken commuters rush for exits

A fire led to an exodus-like situation at the Kashmere Gate Metro station as hundreds of commuters were seen taking exit from its premises in a hurry on Friday afternoon.
A part of the underground section of the station was filled with smoke, creating panic among passengers.

“Metro is on fire,” was a common reason given by scores of them.

“I was heading to Lajpat Nagar, but had to take exit at Kashmere Gate as security personnel were saying that a fire had broken out at the station,” said Swati Mishra, 22-year-old student. Passengers waiting for a train at the underground stretch had no clue what was happening.

“I thought there is a cleaning drive going on so this dust is coming downstairs. Later, I realised it’s not dust, it’s smoke and I ran to take exit,” said Rajeev Singh, a trader who was heading to Karol Bagh.

When the Central Industrial Security Force and Delhi Metro staff started to douse the fire, it created a scare in the travellers mind.

“Everything happened so fast that I didn’t even think why was I running to take the exit. Some people started entering the train which had just arrived and rest of them ran to take the exit,” said Kritika Jha, a homemaker, who had come to shop at Chandni Chowk.

According to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, there was no evacuation ordered.
“We opened all the Automated Fair Collection gates for people to take exit. But there was not an evacuation by the DMRC,” said a spokesperson. “No train was allowed to stop in the underground as well as the elevated section of the station.”

Travellers said, the last train which was allowed to stop at the Kashmere Gate got overcrowded.

“I couldn’t enter the train so I had to take the exit at Kashmere Gate station,” said Tejas Verma, an east Delhi resident. “One has to literally fight to enter the train”
Kashmere Gate sees a huge footfall daily as the Interstate Bus Terminus is in close proximity.

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