New Delhi: The Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express train that caught fire early on Monday morning reached the national capital on Monday afternoon. Hundreds of passengers on board the train had a miraculous escape when a fire broke out in the pantry car of the train and soon engulfed three other coaches.
No one was injured and all the 1,100-odd passengers travelling in the prestigious train were safe, railway officials said, adding two passenger coaches - B6 and B7 - were fully gutted.
The passengers in the three affected coaches were jolted out of their sleep after dense smoke entered the compartments.
The fire broke out at around 2.20 am when the train was between Alot and Thuriya stations, about 75 km from Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh, in Kota division of West Central Railways, Ratlam Divisional Commercial Manager Ravi Mohan Sharma said.
Preliminary investigation suggested that the fire started in the pantry car due to a short-circuit and soon spread to the adjacent B-6 and B-7 coaches on one side and the B-5 coach on the other side.
Sharma said that B-6 and B-7 bogies were fully damaged, while B-5 and the pantry car suffered a little damage. Railway authorities have announced ex-gratia of Rs 5,000 each for the 144 passengers in B-6 and B-7 coaches.
The couplings of the four affected coaches were detached immediately by the railway staff at Thuriya to stop the spread of fire, Railways spokesperson Anil Saxena said in New Delhi.
Fire tenders were rushed to the spot from Ujjain and Ratlam, he said.
Sharma said that Commissioner, Railway Safety (Central Circle) had started a probe and report would be submitted to the Railway Board in seven days.
WCR Chief Public Relations Officer Piyush Mathur said after the affected coaches were detached, the train left for Delhi at around 8.20 on Monday morning. The passengers reached New Delhi this evening relieved that they survived the fire. Several of them reported that they had lost their belongings.
Rail traffic was disrupted in the Nagda-Kota line for some time due to the incident, he said.