Around 50 passengers in a suburban train had a narrow escape from electrocution as the alert EMU driver halted the train on time, just before it came into contact with a live electrical cable near Pattabiram on Friday.

The train, which originated from Moore Market Complex station near Central at noon, was headed to Pattabiram Military Siding station. According to a Railway source, there were over 500 passengers when the train left Moore Market. At Pattabiram station, most of the passengers disembarked. Around 50 passengers were left, and the train then headed towards Military Siding station.

“When the train was nearing Pattabiram Military Siding station, the driver, Kuralarasan spotted a snapped live 25 KV electrical cable hanging,” said Sumesh, a passenger who was on the train.

Kuralarasan immediately braked and the train stopped a metre away from the wire. The driver then lowered the pantograph – a device mounted on the roof of an electric train to collect power through contact with an overhead power cable. All the passengers were asked to disembark.

Sources said that if the wire had come into contact with the metal body of the train, the passengers inside could have been electrocuted.

Kuralarasan has nearly 15 years of experience and a source said, railway officials appreciated the driver’s presence of mind.