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With 15 cases of train fires in last five months, railway zones asked to take corrective steps

A railway official examines the damaged coach. File photo.

A railway official examines the damaged coach. File photo.   | Photo Credit: FRANCIS MASCARENHAS

Railway Board, in a letter to General Managers, states that such incidents show ‘laxity in maintenance of rolling stock’.

With 15 reported cases of fire-related accidents on trains in the last five months primarily due to improper maintenance of rolling stock and lack of supervision, the Railway Board letter has instructed the zonal railways to take corrective measures to minimise such incidents in future.

In a letter addressed to all General Managers of zones, the board said such incidents showed laxity in the maintenance of the rolling stock and need to take preventive action.

The letter dated May 31 said:

“In the last five months, there are 15 cases of fire accidents/incidents reported over zonal railways involving locomotives, coaching stock and freight stock due to various reasons like miscreant activities, improper maintenance of rolling stock, loading of prohibited items...

“Above incidents indicates laxity in maintenance of rolling stock and lack of supervision, slack supervision of commodities being loaded, insufficient security...”

Monitoring of goods loaded

The board has pointed out zone-wise how lack of proper maintenance and monitoring of goods being loaded in trains led to such accidents.

In the Agra Division, a coach caught fire due to electrical short-circuit, and in another instance, in the Northern Railway zone in the Delhi Division, a fire broke out because charged electronic goods or mobile batteries were stored in the luggage portion of a coach.

The board has listed incidents in both the Central Railway and the North Central Railway where, it said, fires broke out due to improper maintenance.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 4:16:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/15-cases-of-fire-in-trains-in-last-five-months-railway-board-sounds-alarm/article24112107.ece

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