‘We thought it was a joke, then we started running’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘We thought it was a joke, then we started running’

Passengers of the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express had a narrow escape in early Monday, when three of its coaches caught fire as the train was passing through Madhya Pradesh.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2011 00:52 IST
Sandeep Vatsa

Passengers of the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express had a narrow escape in early Monday, when three of its coaches caught fire as the train was passing through Madhya Pradesh.

The driver managed to stop the train in time at Thuria station, around 105 km from Ujjain, and passengers of the burning coaches were helped to safety.

The 12951 Rajdhani Express had left Mumbai at 4.40pm on Sunday. The fire was noticed soon after the train had passed Alot station at 2.15am.

By the time the train was stopped at Thuria, the flames, which had started from the pantry coach, had spread to the two adjoining AC three-tier coaches — B6 and B7.

The sleeping passengers were promptly woken and helped to get off the train. No one was injured but most of the luggage was gutted.

Garima Jindal, a passenger, said: “We were fast asleep when suddenly someone announced that a fire had broken out. Initially, we thought he was joking, but then everybody started running.”

“We came out before the fire could spread,” said another passenger. “The driver took the right decision, else the blaze could have been massive.”

Doctors from Alot soon reached the spot and provided medical aid, said Rajendra Sharma, the Ratlam collector. Sanjay Pathak, the divisional railway manager, Ratlam, and Madhukar Meshram, the divisional railway manager, Kota, also reached the spot.

Fire tenders from Alot managed to control the blaze after nearly two hours. Traffic on the other line was affected for some time as the flames had melted the overhead wiring.

The two gutted coaches were detached at Thuria. The train, scheduled to reach New Delhi at 8.40am, was allowed to resume its journey at 9.10am and reached in the evening. Railway authorities have announced an ex gratia of Rs5,000 to passengers of the two coaches.