VELLORE: An air-conditioned railway coach, which was rendered useless and was stationed at the Arakkonam Railway junction, caught fire on Sunday and was reduced to a heap of mangled steel. The authorities were yet to establish the cause of the fire.
Railway sources said the residents in the locality saw smoke coming out of the coach and alerted the railway officials. The officials went to the spot and detached other coaches from the one on fire.
In the meantime, Fire and Rescue Services personnel in Arakkonam were alerted. They were also joined by fire brigades from Tiruthani and INS Rajali and put out the fire after three-hours.
The destroyed coach was meant for scrap sale. The loss would not be less than `15 lakh. “A tonne of scrap costs `29,000. The coach weighed more than 40 to 50 tonnes even after removing the important spare parts,” said a source.
The incident exposed the fact that the railway boundary and its property were not protected properly. Anti-social elements were using the out-of-use coaches as a bar even during the day but no action had been taken to stop such illegal activities, said the source.
A case was registered and investigations are on.