Crackers led to spread of fire in TN: Exp

The presence of fire crackers led to rapid spread of the blaze in the gutted bogie of Tamil Nadu Express, in which 32 passengers were killed last month, forensic experts have claimed.

A senior forensic scientist, who was part of the team that collected burnt articles from the bogie, said “they had found fire cracker material from the bogie which indicates that burning of crackers rapidly spread the fire in the bogie, however, initiation of fire is still not known.”

The fire crackers or its powder seems to have been stored below at least six seats in the coach, he said. The team of Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratory (APFSL) experts, who examined the gutted S-11 bogie of Tamil Nadu Express, submitted a report in this regard to the Railway authorities on Wednesday, the official said, adding that a copy was also forwarded to the Commissioner, Railway Safety (South Central circle).

A “blast theory” and short-circuit behind the devastating fire had initially made the rounds as one injured passenger, Madanlal, had earlier claimed that he woke up after hearing a loud noise (with sound just like a blast) in the coach and that there were at least two more such thuds.

Railway Minister Mukul Roy had earlier entrusted the investigation in the mishap to D K Singh, the South Central Railway Safety Commissioner.

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