A major tragedy was averted when passengers in General compartment of an Express Train noticed a fire in the bogie and stopped the train by pulling chain in the nick of time.
The fire erupted in Raptisagar Express, travelling from Cochin to Gorakhpur and passing through Nagpur, around 2.30 pm on Thursday when the train was approaching Bhadrawati Station, 29 km away from Chandrapur Station. The ceiling fans in General compartment suddenly caught fire due to short circuit. However, the fire was immediately noticed by the alert passengers sitting in the compartment. The train was stopped by pulling the chain and thus a major tragedy was averted.
According to reports, the Raptisagar Express, after a scheduled stop at Chandrapur, began its onward journey at 2 pm. The train had hardly covered 29 kilometers when the ceiling fans in the General compartment (Bogie No. 09572) caught fire due to short circuit near a Railway Crossing between Majri and Bhadrawati Stations. The passengers sitting in the compartment noticed the sudden fire in the nick of time and they pulled the chain for stopping the train. As soon as the train halted, the passengers alerted travellers in other compartments and sought their help. Some employees of Pantry Car rushed to the General compartment with fire extinguishers and controlled the fire before it could take the form of a monster. The Guard of the train then alerted the Station Master of Majri and also informed about the incident police. Police immediately swung into action and deployed four fire tenders, two from WCL, one each from Warora Nagar Parishad and Ordnance Factory Chanda, at Majri Railway Station for averting the spread of fire when the train arrives at the Station. As soon as the train arrived at Majri Station, the fire personnel started their operation to completely douse the fire. After a thorough inspection and snapping power of the short circuited fans, the train was allowed to resume its onward journey at 4 pm.
Shocking part of the entire episode was that not a single higher official from Railway reached the Majri Station to supervise the operation.