Ajmer Shatabdi catches fire, passengers unhurt

Alwar Jn (AWR):  Passengers of Ajmer-New Delhi Shatabdi Express had a narrow escape on Friday after fire in one of the coaches was doused and brought under control by the railway officials “well within time”. The incident occurred after the train left Alwar railway station, under the North-Western Region (NWR) railway zone, while on its way to the Capital.

While the fire delayed the train journey and created panic, passengers escaped unhurt. Fire was reported after one of the passengers raised alarm and pulled the emergency chain. The railway officials, however, played down the incident stating “brake binding led to spark and smoke which is usually not a cause of great worry”.

“Blocking of brakes in trains is a regular feature. It leads to spark and smoke. Moreover, it is well outside the reach of the coaches and hence it does not pose any danger. But despite that, the situation was brought under control within time,” said Northern Railway spokesperson Neeraj Sharma.

However, the passengers travelling in the train said it was much beyond spark and smoke. “We were almost half-asleep as the train was already running late. We came to know about the incident after one of the passengers raised alarm and pulled the emergency chain. We saw the railway officials using fire extinguishers to douse the fire under coach number C-11,” a passenger told.

Two hours delay

Sources in the commercial department of the railways said the train was halted due to the incident few kilometers away from the Alwar station from 10 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. The train finally arrived at New Delhi railway station at around 1 a.m. on Saturday, over two hours behind schedule.

The officials said the train also got delayed due to failure of the power engine before it reached Alwar station. “The engine failed around five kms ahead of Alwar. The train left after the engine was replaced,” a Northern Railway official said.