28-year-old Vijaya was returning to her residence in Chennai's Bharathi Nagar on Saturday after a family trip to Ooty when a sharp blow to her head left her severely injured . The family was exiting the Shenoy Nagar metro station when this shocking incident occurred. And the culprit was a lose tile from the station's ceiling that fell directly on Vijaya, who was left bleeding profusely.
The Shenoy Nagar police, which rushed to Billroth hospital to record the victim's statement says she was administered eight stitches to her head following the incident. To make matters worse, this is not the first time that such an incident has been reported. A passenger in the Egmore station had a narrow escape only a few weeks back when a tile fell on him. And this doesn't stop at only tiles. Even glass panels are cracking in the Nehru Park and Pachaiyappaâ€™s College stations
When TNM contacted the Chennai Metro rail, an authority dismissed the incident at Shenoy Nagar as minor, claimed that it was a part of the false ceiling that had fallen and stated that the victim only sustained a 'small injury'.
But a senior metro rail authority on the condition of anonymity told TNM that these incidents are a result of faulty workmanship and low quality glass fittings.
"Clearly the contractors that were hired haven't done a good job if parts of the ceiling are crashing down. They could have tried to save money by using smaller quantities of the adhesive which predominantly contains mortar. The contractors were working on it day and night and quality has suffered," he says. "This could however been prevented if necessary quality checks were carried out during either the production or installation stage. Even now, they can do a thorough inspection of tiles to ensure that this does not happen again," he adds.
As for the glass panels, the metro rail authority explains that problem arises out of a manufacturing defect, where the tempering of the glass has not been done satisfactorily. In such cases, the glasses crack when the temperature changes. And while the glass may shatter, the chances of it falling are close to zero, he says.