Tension got the better of the security personnel, not because there was bomb scare or security threat, but the wailing of a woman passenger aboard the train. Swarnalatha, a 26-year-old, who started from Visakhapatnam to Tirunelveli was in the advanced stage of pregnancy and developed labour pain moments before the train reached Beach station.
Thanks to the smart thinking of her husband Esakki and a few passengers aboard, a distress call they had made to 108 minutes earlier readied the RPF staff on duty at Egmore. A team of three RPF woman constables at Egmore, who are not used to medical emergencies, took a doctor available at a clinic set up by a private hospital in the station to the exact spot where B2 coach in which Swarnalatha’s was travelling would come to a halt.
As the train halted on the platform at 7.56pm, the doctor boarded the train only to give them bad news. “The doctor told us there was no time to rush the woman to the nearest hospital, not even Egmore children’s hospital which was only 200 metres away. The women constables used some clothes to cover the windows and freed the bay for the doctor to attend to the woman passenger. The women constables also assisted the doctor,” RPF inspector V Mohan told DT Next.
The doctor’s fears came true as the woman delivered a girl baby within a couple of minutes. The woman was stretchered to an ambulance waiting there, while the women RPF constable carried the baby. “The mother and child were taken to a hospital in Anna Nagar based on the request of the father,” added Mohan, who saw off the train from Egmore to Kanniyakumari after a 10-minute delay at 8.30pm.