Goods train with military goods catches fire on Ngp-Itarsi route

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 May 2018 10:10:25


Staff Reporter,

Army trucks on open wagons destroyed in fire in Maramzari-Dharakhoh section of Central Railway’s Nagpur Division on Thursday

Second incident of fire during train operations in division in a week

Train services on Nagpur-Itarsi section of Grand Trunk route were affected on Thursday after military special ferrying vehicles were hit by an incident of fire. The fire damaged vehicles of military being carried on open wagon. The incident took place between Maramzari and Dharakhoh
sections in Central Railway’s Nagpur Division.
This is second incident of fire in a week in the division that affected train services.

On Sunday, fire damaged a WAG-4 locomotive while it was hauling 12810 Howrah-CSMT Mumbai Mail.
The back-to-back incidents of fire put officers in the division on toes. Today’s incident occurred about 203 kms from the city where divisional headquarters are located. The open wagons were loaded with vehicles that were covered with tarpaulin.

The incident occurred around 1.25 pm after tarpaulin cover of one of the trucks cut loose and got entangled with Overhead Equipment (OHE) triggering fire, said an official at the division.

Given the high voltage current of OHE, the tarpaulin sheet was reduced to ashes within seconds. Due to strong wind during the incident in the ghat section spread fire to other wagons too. The OHE got short as the two wires carrying 25,000 Volts got entangled leading to their snapping. The obvious happened as the OHE snapped in inaccessible ghat section bringing the military special to halt in middle of Dharakhoh tunnel.

The special had just crossed the Maramzari section and inching towards Dharakhoh section when the fire occurred. Trucks on four open wagons were hit by the sparks emanating from the OHE. Due to extreme heat, the trucks were damaged beyond repairs within minutes.

The military special goods train was heading towards Faizabad and had earlier came from Southern India and passed from Nagpur railway station, it is further learnt. Due to snapping of power, the special got stopped while passing through a tunnel in Dharakhoh station towards Itarsi side.
It may be added that senior officials of division including Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Somesh Kumar were busy since Thursday morning with inquiry by Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), Central Zone, at Wardha Station.

Meanwhile, senior officials of the division rushed to affected section as first priority was clearing the stranded rake of military special. The railway administration also sought assistance from local district administration of Madhya Pradesh Government. Fire Brigade dispatched its men and tenders to the spot. The accompanying military personnel abroad the goods train helped in fire fighting operation.
As the terrain was difficult a long hose pipe was carried with defence personnel forming a chain to carry it near the railway wagons. It took about half an hour to douse the fire and bring the situation under control.
On studying the photographs received by this reporter, it was visible that the wagons behind the locomotive caught the fire.

Fortunately, fire did not reach the locomotive else a major disaster could have occurred.
Due to the latest fire incident only single line was in operation that affected the movement of the trains on North-South and vice-versa. Also due to ghat section even otherwise trains run at controlled speed. The stranded rake of military special was cleared close to 5 pm.

Division officials, thereafter, took power bloc from 5.30 pm onwards to repair the damaged OHE. Extra manpower was diverted to the section to replace the OHE to ensure section is opened for traffic at the earliest, officials further informed.The officials said special booth was set-up at Nagpur Railway Station to provide information and assist travellers.

As per official communication due to incident of fire train movement on Nagpur-Itarsi UP line was affected. Trains were running three to six hours late.

Train No. Name of Affected Trains

12721 Hazarat Nizamuddin-Hyderabad Dakshin Express
12995 Bangalore-Danapur Sanghamitra Express
12539 Yeshwantpur-Lucknow Superfast Express
20813 Puri-Jodhpur Superfast Express
11203 Nagpur-Jaipur Weekly Special
12615 Chennai-New Delhi GT Express
12409 Raigarh-H. Nizamuddin Gondwana Express
12621 Chennai-New Delhi Tamil Nadu Express
14623 Chhindwara-Delhi Sarai Rohilla Express