VELLORE: An alert guard of a super fast train averted a major fire on Monday night, thereby saving the lives of several passengers.
The Patna Junction-Bangalore City Sanghamitra Super Fast Express (train no 12296) was nearing the Patchakuppam Railway Station between Ambur and Jolarpet on Monday night when the passengers on S1 coach, which was the third one from the tail-end, noticed smoke and fire from under the coach around 7 pm.
They raised an alarm and the guard immediately alerted the loco pilot and brought the train to a halt at 7.02 pm. fter the train stopped, the passengers from the S1 coach and other coaches jumped off the train, fearing for life. With the help of a few passengers, the guard and ticket examiners put out the fire using the fire extinguishers on the train, which resumed the journey at 7.22 pm.
The fire had occurred reportedly because of an oil (hydraulic or engine) spill-over which burned due to the sparks emanating while applying brakes. However, a personnel attached to the Government Railway Police at Jolarpet said there would be an inquiry into the incident to find what actually caused the fire.
Meanwhile, some of the passengers who had alighted from the train decided to proceed to their destination by road and went to Ambur to take a bus.
Two other trains coming behind the Sanghamitra Express were detained ahead of Patchakuppam Railway Station for nearly 30 minutes, following the incident.