India railway budget
The driver suddenly felt so sick while at the wheel that he couldn’t control himself and became unconscious and just fell off - Representational image Shailesh Andrade/Reuters

Local train passengers in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal survived a scare on Monday (2 October) after the sick driver fainted and fell off the moving train.

According to an NDTV report, I Haldar, the driver of 37913 Howrah-Katwa Local, felt sick while at the wheel that he couldn't control himself and became unconscious and just fell off.

But thankfully, he had taken his hand off the 'dead man's switch' – the automatic switch that gets triggered if the loco pilot got incapacitated. Following which emergency brakes were applied and the train was put to a halt.

Some eyewitnesses saw him falling off. He was found lying on the tracks by the passengers.

Mr R Mahapatra, chief public relations officer, Eastern Railways, said the 45-year-old received some serious head injuries due to the fall. He added that when Haldar boarded the train he was perfectly fine.

According to reports, the railway authorities would now keep a check on Haldar's health conditions and they would also investigate the matter.

However, this is not the first incident of train driver falling sick while at the wheels. In July, another driver in Kolkata city rammed a train at a local railway station platform. Later, examination revealed that the driver was suffering from work-related stress.

Around 21 passengers suffered injuries because of the severe jolt. Driver Mainul Haque and guard R A Biswas were suspended after the incident, The Times of India reported.