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Six coaches of two Rajdhani trains gutted in fire, high-level probe ordered

The fire damaged six coaches of the Bhubaneswar and Sealdah Rajdhani trains.

By: Express Web Desk Written by Sarah Hafeez | New Delhi |
April 22, 2015 1:27:36 am
rajdhani train, rajdhani fire, sealdah rajdhani, bhubaneswar rajdhani, new delhi railway station A coach of the Rajdhani train gutted in the fire at New Delhi Railway Station (Express photo)

A suspected diesel leak from a pipe sparked a fire gutting six coaches parked at the washing lines in New Delhi Railway station on Tuesday. DFS officials said there were no casualties reported since there was no one in the coaches at the time.

Delhi Fire Services (DFS) received a call at around 12 pm from New Delhi Railway Station officials. DFS officials said 21 fire tenders were dispatched to New Delhi railway station from the Connaught Place fire station and the fire took around 3 hours to douse completely. The Centralised Accident and Trauma Services (CATS) ambulances also reached the spot as a measure of safety.

raja1 The 6 coaches were empty. (Source: Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

“We took over 4500 litres of water to douse the fire and cancel the smoke. The fire tenders had a difficult time reaching the tracks through the congested Shraddhanand Marg market place and crossing five railway tracks to reach the burning coaches. So we decided to use long water pipes which could be dragged over the tracks,” Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Delhi Fire Services, T K Sharma said.

Four coaches – the pantry car, two first AC and one second AC coach – of the Sealdah Rajdhani and two coaches- a first AC and a second AC- of the Bhubaneswar Rajdhani train were damaged in the fire. The other coaches were quickly unhitched and isolated from the burning ones by railway staff when the fire broke out. The A railway official said the estimated cost of each coach goes up to over one crore rupees.

rajdhani train, sealdah rajdhani, new delhi railway station, rajdhani fire, Fire service personnel during attempts to douse the fire in the train (Express photo)

The railways have ordered a high level inquiry into the incident. Northern Railways Chief Public Relations Officer Neeraj Sharma said, “The body comprising senior divisional safety officers, senior divisional commercial managers, divisional mechanical diesel engineers, divisional electrical engineers and senior commanding RPF officers will be probing the incident including a sabotage angle if any.” A case of negligence was registered by police and investigations have begun, DCP (Railways) Sanjay Bhatia said.

Railway officials and police said that the cause of the fire was still being investigated though prima facie it appeared to have been caused by a leak in a fuel pipe. “A pipe carrying diesel running along a track near platform 11 leaked at a spot near the washing lines in the railway maintenance yard where the two trains were standing. The heat might have caused the fuel to reach its flash-point triggering a fire. The fire then swiftly spread to the coaches of the Sealdah Rajdhani and Bhubaneswar Rajdhani gutting them completely. Four coaches stand completely destroyed while two have been scorched at the ends.” Sharma added.

raja3 Two AC coaches of Bhubaneswar Rajdhani and four coaches, including the pantry car, of the Sealdah Rajdhani were affected in the fire. (Source: Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

Railway operations on the remained suspended for a couple of hours during the day with 20 coaches affected with slight delays. Two trains-the Delhi-Jammu Tawi Rajdhani Express and the Nanda-Devi Express besides the two affected trains were delayed by over five hours, railway officials said.

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