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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

fire in MRTS Chenai - 2 compartments gutted - none injured !

For some of us – day begins and ends with MRTS - Mass Rapid Transit System [aka Parakkum Rail]  from Chennai Beach to Velachery; the  route is largely elevated. From Beach to Chennai Park Townstation, the line runs at grade, parallel to the suburban railway network. Following Chennai Park Town station, the line's first phase becomes elevated and follows the course of the Buckingham Canal, which runs parallel to the Coromandel Coast. The line remains elevated for the alignment of the second phase up to Perungudi, after which it returns to an at-grade section at Velachery. The 19 km (12 mi) line  has 18 stations between.

The Burning Train, a Bollywood Action thriller film directed by Ravi Chopra was  released in 1980 ~ its plot revolved around a train named Super Express that catches fire on its inaugural run from New Delhi to Mumbai.

A fire on a train is not a great idea though ! – In Sept this year, a train carrying 150 people was evacuated when a fire started underneath a carriage at Warwick Parkway railway station.  The fire had started in the running gear of one of the rear carriages, said Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service.  It is stated that the  train was in the station when the fire alarm went off. None were injured in the incident.

Not all are so lucky…. On 30th July 2012, the Chennai bound Tamilnadu Express caught fire at 4:22 am near Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. At least 32 passengers died and 27 were injured. The fire gutted the S-11 sleeper coach in 20 minutes.  As one would know, the sleeper II class compartments has 72 berths – as some are given on RAC, there could be more passengers, not to speak of those unreserved and those who still enter reserved coaches.

Today, passengers of MRTS Chennai reportedly had a narrow escape after one of the bogies caught fire, officials said.  Indian Express reports that none was injured in the accident.   It is reported that the  incident occurred around 8.35am near Perungudi. The train was moving towards Beach station. Since, it is a holiday (on account of Ayudha Pooja), there were not many passengers," a top official said.

The fire fortunately was observed even as the train was moving from Perungudi to Velachery, which is not on elevation.  The driver immediately stopped the train, and at some point, those burning coaches were detached, which prevented fire from spreading. The two compartments affected were fully gutted.

It is further reported that two fire tenders were used to douse the flames,  and traffic on the route stands suspended.  An inquiry has been ordered to identify the cause of the incident," an official is quoted as stating. Train services have been restored and are running normally now ...

Recently on 6th Oct there was derailment nearer Lighthouse station – in that incident too,  fortunately none were injured.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar
Report and 2nd photo credit : The New Indian Express.

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