BHUBANESWAR: Daily commuters as well as long-distance travellers had a harrowing time after a coal-laden train caught fire near Bhubaneswar Railway Station blocking rail traffic for several hours on Friday morning.
Since most of the short-distance and passenger trains run during forenoon hours, the mishap caused serious inconvenience to office-goers. It took the railway officials several hours before the lines could be cleared and normal movement resumed.
The mishap happened near Bapuji Nagar over-bridge where at least two coal-laden wagons caught fire. Insiders revealed that the coal came in contact with the overhead live wires causing the fire. The fire caused snapping of overhead lines and power supply between Retang and Barang sections was cut off. This led to a precarious situation as train movements came to a halt on both up and down lines with the goods train remaining stranded on the tracks.
Railway officials said the track that passes by Mausima Temple goes in a downward slope before curving up again towards the over-bridge and that’s where the freight came in contact with the overhead line. “Since the wagons were overloaded, the coal came in contact with the line igniting the fire,” said sources.
The up-line was cleared by 8.30 am but the down-line took another two hours to be free. Since it was peak hour for office-goers, the mishap led to serious congestion as trains were controlled at different stations.
Several long-distance trains such as Durg-Puri Express, Guwahati-Secunderabad Express, Puri-Howrah Duronto Express, Hyderabad-Howrah East Coast Express, Bhubaneswar-Howrah Jan Satabdi Express, Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express, Yeshvantpur-Muzaffarpur Express and Visakhapatnam-Amritsar Hirakud Express were controlled at different stations of Khurda Road Division.
This was the second such incident in last couple of months. Late last year, another such blackout had caused serious snarl-up during peak evening hours.