An empty local train coach stationed at Kandivli siding caught fire on Monday afternoon, creating fear in commuters and residents. Officials of Kandivli Fire Brigade managed to control the fire within an hour, averting a major accident. The cause of the fire is yet unknown, but railway officials suspect the involvement of drug addicts who use these coaches as shelter.
Western Railway (WR) authorities informed that there were no casualties in the incident, and that the coach was part of a train scheduled for scrapping. A WR official said, “The out-of-service coaches are stationed behind platform no 4 of Kandivli station. This coach was one of them and caught fire at around 1pm. We informed the fire brigade officials and detached it from adjacent coaches to prevent the fire from spreading."
A major fire could have affected services on WR’s fifth line, which is used by outstation trains. A commuter who witnessed the incident said, “We could see fire coming out from the coach at Kandivli station. People panicked as they thought a local train had caught fire.”
WR officials have denied the incident has caused major loss to the railways. Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer of WR, said, “The coach was lying vacant for months, so there are chances that it might have accumulated some garbage, which may have caught fire. In any case, the coach was to be scrapped, so there is no substantial loss.”
Another WR coach lined up for scrapping had caught fire a few months ago. The authorities have not ruled out the involvement of drug addicts and have asked the Railway Protection Force to keep a close watch on unused coaches.