A 37-year-old railway employee threatened to jump from the seventh floor of a building that houses Southern Railway’s divisional railway manager’s (DRM) office on Mint Street, on Monday morning.
He was finally persuaded to come down, after several hours of negotiations with railway officials, the police and fire service personnel.
According to the police, the man, Tamilarasan, a welder with the Perambur Loco Works, had done this as he had been issued a memo for misconduct.
Around 11 a.m., Tamilarasan, went up to the terrace of the building and jumped on to the sunshade on the seventh floor. He was holding a bottle filled with a liquid, which he claimed was petrol.
S. Nalladurai, assistant general secretary, Southern Railway Mazdoor Union, said that on Saturday, Tamilarasan and four others were asked to provide an explanation for their misconduct. “Upset over this, he went atop the building and threatened to jump,” he said.
The incident attracted a huge crowd, including passers-by and the media.
Several attempts by railway officials to bring him down proved futile. The officials then brought his wife Sangeetha (30) to the office along with the couple’s baby. However, on seeing her husband atop the building, Sangeetha fainted. To prevent him from jumping, onlookers then held up his baby, but Tamilarasan remained unmoved.
Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Service personnel, who soon arrived, brought in a Bronto Skylift, a hydraulic ladder which can be raised to a height of 150 feet. However, this could not be put to use as the man threatened to jump if they tried to reach him.
Holding the bottle in one hand, Tamilarasan stood on the sunshade for nearly five hours. He first refused to let anyone near him and communicated through his mobile phone until negotiations finally succeeded in the evening. He gave in at 4.20 p.m., after railway officials assured him that no action would be taken against him.
Once he climbed back to safety, amidst cheers from the crowd, he was hauled away for questioning by the police.