Thursday, May 29, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Fire on another train
Miraculous escape for passengers
Our Correspondent

Jalalabad, May 28
Passengers of 7FF train coming from Ferozepore to here had a miraculous escape, when a fire suddenly broke out in the engine of the train and soon spread to three other coaches.

According to eyewitnesses the engine of the train caught fire at around 3 pm when the train was crossing Jiwaan Arian station, 10 km from here.

The fire probably broke out due to a spark in the engine and alert driver Harjinder Singh immediately stopped the train. Panic-stricken passengers of the train started leaving the coaches. Soon the fire engulfed three coaches of the train. However, no loss of human life or injury have been reported.

Mr Sanjay Popli, local SDM, Mr Neeraj Babuta, Station Master, and police personnel visited the spot. Administration officials with the help of villagers and passengers detached the burning coaches from others, preventing the fire from spreading further.

Four empty extinguishers were also lying at the spot which according to the guard and the driver did not douse the flames. But a passenger, Mr Harish Taneja, told The Tribune that the driver attempted to douse the flames by using extinguishers but these were empty and could do nothing. Later a fire tender reached the spot as late as 4.30 pm. By that time, all three coaches were gutted.

Mr Sanjay Popli said there was 880 litres of fuel in the engine which was completely burnt in the fire. The stranded passengers were later taken to Jalalabad by tractortrailers with the help of nearby villagers and local administration.

Later the ADRM, Ferozepore, Mr P.P. Singh, also reached the spot. According to Mr Popli overheating in the engine due to bad maintenance seemed to be the cause of fire, a UNI report adds.


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