Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu orders inquiry into Itarsi Station fire

New Delhi: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered a probe into the fire incident at the Route Relay Interlocking (RRI) cabin at Itarsi station in Madhya Pradesh which has severely hit Bhopal, Nagpur and Allahabad-bound rail traffic.

The fire broke out at 6 am in the RRI cabin at the station, which is one of the biggest railway junctions in the country. Fire tenders could douse the flames only by 9 am.

The fire inflicted huge damage to the operation room, indication panel and wiring system. As a result, complete train operation at Itarsi station has been disrupted, a senior Railway Ministry official said.

Mr Prabhu, who is away in Turkey to attend the G-20 meeting, tweeted:
RM tweets

RRI is a system by which all the signals and the points/crossings which are used for changing of routes at junction station are operated centrally from a cabin through electrical devices.

Divisional officers have already reached the site and Railway Board Member (Traffic) Ajay Shukla along with senior signaling and operating officials has also left for the spot, the official said.

He said while full extent of the damage is being assessed, detentions of trains would take place as all the operations are now being done manually instead of through electrical devices.

The trains on the section are being cleared one-by-one. A number of trains have been diverted through alternate routes and some trains may have to be cancelled for next one or two days.

Railways have advised passengers to check status of trains before start of the journey. Refunds are being arranged for passengers of cancelled/diverted trains.