Railway coach catches fire at ICF, none injured

It is believed that a short circuit triggered the blaze; coach was completely gutted

A coach of the Chennai – Coimbatore Duranto Express was gutted in a fire while undergoing maintenance at the carriage works in Perambur on Tuesday night.

No casualties were reported as workmen were not around when the fire broke out around 10.30 p.m. It is believed that a short circuit could have triggered the fire in the compartment.

According to Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Service sources, they received a call only around 11.10 p.m. “A personnel from the Railway Protection Force (RPF) called us,” said a TNFRS source.

Immediately, fire tenders from Sembium, Vyasarpadi and Esplanade were pressed into service. Around 15 fire fighters tried to douse the fire. “The situation was brought under control by 2 a.m. on Tuesday. Usually, we get calls regarding garbage fires inside the carriage works. Such a call is unusual,” said the official.

According to railway officials, the mechanical maintenance of the coach had been completed and it was waiting testing of its air conditioning system. As the Carriage Works or the ICF no longer maintains in-house fire tenders, workmen had to alert fire service units in Sembium and Vyasarpadi.

Rs. 80 lakh loss

The coach, which is valued at about Rs. 80 lakh, was fully gutted by the time fire tenders could reach the spot, sources said. It is learnt that the Railway administration has ordered a probe by the Senior Deputy Mechanical Engineer into the incident.

Prior to this, an AC first class coach had been destroyed in a fire at Perambur Carriage Works in 2006. The coach, which was brought from Thiruvananthapuram Division for periodic overhauling, was ready for delivery after the work.

It suddenly caught fire. Workers who saw the fire and smoke immediately alerted higher officials, who informed the fire service. Fire tenders from Villivakkam and Vepery rushed to the spot and put out the fire.

A major portion of the coach was damaged and the loss was estimated to be Rs.10 lakh.