Kozhikode: The Thiruvananthapuram-Nizamuddin Express was halted at Kozhikode in Kerala for more than an hour to search for a snake spotted by passengers in one of the compartments of the train, but the reptile was not found.
Railway sources said the passengers informed a TTE about noticing a snake between the luggage underneath a lower berth in S5 compartment on Wednesday night, soon after the train left nearby Tirur station.
As the news about the reptile spread through the train, it created a panic among the passengers, including women, sources said.
As soon as the communication reached the railway authorities in Kozhikode railway station, they arranged experts from the Forest department to trace the snake.
All passengers in the compartment where the snake was seen alighted after the train reached Kozhikode around 10.15 pm and a thorough search was conducted by two snake catchers, arranged by Forest officials.
However, the reptile could not be caught, railway sources said.
Quoting the snake catchers, railway sources said the reptile, as seen in a photo taken by a passenger, was just a rat snake and might have escaped or hid in a hole found alongside the compartment.
The train resumed its journey after the hole was sealed by midnight, the sources said.