औरंगाबाद Aurangabad (AWB): A high-level team of railway officials has been set up to probe the fire that gutted a compartment of the Nanded-Manmad passenger train on Sunday. This is the third incident of a train catching fire in the Nanded division in the past six years.
Nanded Divisional Railway Manager P C Sharma has formed a team comprising three senior officials, including senior divisional safety officer, senior divisional mechanical engineer and senior divisional electrical engineer. The trio has visited the site and begun the probe.
“The railway authorities have also roped in forensic experts for the probe. The team of forensic experts visited the spot on Sunday evening and has examined the burnt coach. They are likely to submit the report in the next three to four days,” said divisional PRO Rajesh Shinde.
President of Marathwada Railway Pravasi Sena Santoshkumar Somani said it was the third incident of a moving train catching fire in the past six years in the division. The presence of mind shown by the commuters in each of the cases averted a major tragedy. No casualties were reported in any incident, he added.
Somani said the Manmad-Nanded passenger train had caught fire six years ago after its brake liners got jammed. Then, four years ago, Nagarsol-Vishakhapatnam Express caught fire near Manmad for the same reason. The incident on Sunday could also be the outcome of brake liners getting jammed.
“All these fires are the result of poor maintenance by the railways in the division as they have to send the trains to far off places like Secunderabad for conducting repair work. We do not have any pitline or locomotive shed for repair and maintenance work,” Somani said.
Omprakash Verma, president of Marathwada Railway Vikas Samiti, echoed Somani’s views. “For years, we have been trying to get pitline or a loco shed at Aurangabad or somewhere in the region. The railway authorities have not paid any heed to this long-pending demand. It will not only help in proper and timely maintenance of the trains but will also help get some new long route trains for the region.”
When contacted, the railway officials they refused to comment on the absence of pitline and loco shed the region.