Tamil Nadu: RPF arrest tourist party coach manager for bringing charcoal, cooking materials on train

It may be noted that transporting inflammable items such as stoves, gas cylinders, kerosene, petrol, acids, thermal welding materials and explosives is punishable under the Railway Act.
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only

TIRUNELVELI: The manager of a tourist party coach was arrested by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) in connection with the confiscation of charcoal and other cooking materials from a tourist coach that arrived in Tirunelveli on Wednesday. The accused person was identified as Sathish Chand (64), a native of Karauli in Rajasthan, who has been booked under Sections 145(C), 154 and 164 of the Railway Act, 1989, for endangering the safety of railway passengers. A total of 59 people were travelling in the tourist coach, led by Sathish, sources said.

According to officials, amid a routine inspection on the tourist party coach arriving in Tirunelveli in the early hours of Wednesday via Madurai-Punalur Express (16729), authorities found that the party was carrying charcoal, a gas stove, and burners illegally. The inspection was conducted by M Aravind, Chief Commercial Inspector of Tirunelveli, and his team. The case was consequently forwarded to the RPF in Tirunelveli for further action. It may be noted that transporting inflammable items such as stoves, gas cylinders, kerosene, petrol, acids, thermal welding materials and explosives is punishable under the Railway Act.

"Tourist parties, upon booking a coach, must provide a written declaration ensuring they will not carry any inflammable articles during their journey. Despite this, the private party in question illegally carried cooking materials. An incident involving such illegal items led to the explosion of gas cylinders on a privately booked tourist coach stationed near Madurai Junction Yard in August 2023, killing nine people. Under the Railway Act, the penalty for carrying flammable articles on railways includes imprisonment of up to three years, fines, and cost of damages. To reinforce this message, regular announcements are made at railway stations, urging passengers to avoid bringing flammable and explosive items onboard trains," officials said.

The railway also ensures the scanning of luggage and parcels before loading them onto trains. If a passenger on board or at a railway station encounters any co-passenger in possession of inflammable articles, they can report it through the railway helpline at 139, the officials added.

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