Timely detection of a bomb by an alert patrol party minutes before departure of a passenger train here this morning averted a major tragedy even as a bomb hoax at Tundla railway station in Firozabad district forced Lucknow-bound Shatabdi Express to halt for over 30 minutes.
Police said in Farrukhabad that the bomb was set to go off at 6.20 AM, minutes before Mainpuri passenger train was to depart at 6.40 am.
An alert Government Railway Police patrol team detected a “bomb-like” object was lying on platform number one near an old storehouse at Farrukhabad station, throwing security personnel into a tizzy.
Acting swiftly, railway officials evacuated passengers from the platform, halted the movement of trains and immediately contacted a bomb disposal squad in Kanpur, they said.
The bomb disposal squad led by MK Pandey confirmed it was a bomb timed to explode at 6.20 AM, but it did not go off as the timer developed a problem.
He said further details would be available only after a thorough probe into the matter.
The information regarding a bomb on board the Shatabdi Express was received but later it turned out to be a hoax, an official spokesman said.
“Following information regarding the bomb on board the Shatabdi Express, the train was stopped at Tundla railway station in Firozabad district this morning around 8:30 am,” Inspector GRP Tundla Hukkum Pal Singh said.
Police said that during checking only an empty bag was recovered from the generator room and the information was found to be hoax.
The Farrukhabad incident created panic in the security establishment as it came just a day after a major train mishap was averted near Mohanlalganj, on the outskirts of the state capital of Lucknow, due to alertness of Prayag-Lucknow passenger train driver when he noticed 50 cm rail track missing.
These incidents have come amid reports of ISIS planning to expand its network in Uttar Pradesh, where alleged sympathisers of the Islamic State are under the scanner of the Union Home Ministry.