BENGALURU:Fire broke out in an empty First Class AC compartment of Hazur Sahib Nanded-Bangalore City Express (Train no. 16593) on Saturday after it had terminated its journey at the City station. The train was on its way to the stabling yard (temporary halting place for trains) when the fire broke out, damaging the roof of the compartment, burning the AC wiring and destroying one corner of the bogey.
“The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained and a three-member inquiry committee has been set up to look into the issue,” said Sanjiv Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM).
The DRM said that the Nanded Express left Hazur Sahib Nanded station (in Maharashtra) station at 6 am on Friday and reached the City station at 5.20 a.m Saturday. It was taken to the stabling yard at 6.30 am.
“Around 8.50 am, someone from the stabling yard noticed smoke emanating from the AC compartment. The coach was isolated and the fire department alerted,” Agarwal said.
Fire personnel reached the station within 10 minutes of the call, he said.
“The top corner of the coach, where the attendant sits, has been damaged. It appears that the fire has spread from there to the roof of the compartment. The AC wiring is gone too.”
“I am perplexed about how the fire started because all the train doors are shut before it is taken to the stabling yard and the AC coach has sealed windows,” he said. The AC in the train is switched off a few minutes before it reaches the destination, he added.
Agarwal ruled out speculation that it could have been a lit cigarette left behind that could have caused the fire, saying passengers would have left the coach around 5.30 am and the fire started only by 8.50 am. “Fire from a lit cigarette would not take that long to spread. Also all windows are closed, which rules out the chance of someone throwing a butt in,” he said.
The committee, consisting of assistant officers from the mechanical, electrical and security departments, is expected to submit its findings in a week or two.