Primary forensic probe rules out explosion

'Smoke from slow fire choked passengers in AC coach'

Primary forensic probe rules out explosion

The preliminary investigation being conducted by the Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratory (APFSL) rules out any sabotage or explosion on coach B1 of the Bangalore-Nanded Express. The coach was gutted in the wee hours of Saturday, killing 26 people. 

It said that the deaths occurred due to inhalation of carbon dioxide in large quantities. This smoke was generated from a slow fire.

Dr Venkana Narkuti, scientific officer and explosive expert at APFSL, told Deccan Herald on Tuesday, “Smothering could have happened when someone probably lit a match stick and threw it away or due a spark. This is likely to have burnt slowly and reached a flashpoint (or near a place of maximum heat in the coach, wherever flammable object was available) and the fire spread from there at a rapid pace. This is possible here. Slow smothering has been seen here and gradual increase in intensity has led to the burning.”

He said that looking at the scene, any layman can say that fire occurred inside the coach and not outside. Since it was a confined AC bogie, passage of air was very less or even blocked. So, carbon dioxide spread easily and led to many casualties.

Their preliminary investigation rules out sabotage or presence of any explosives in the coach.

“This is because if there was any sabotage or explosives then there would have been a sudden eruption of fire and some noise. People would have definitely woken up and run for their lives. Damage and casualties would have been much lesser. But that is not the case here,” he explained.

Narkuti pointed out that they have examined the circuits to check for electrical short-circuiting.

“We have checked the circuits with the help of a multimeter. This shows that all the circuits are intact. But analysis for any breakage of fuses and mains in the control boards is on. So, the probability of a spark is also being looked into.”
“We have seen the site and collected all possible evidences. We have to do laboratory analysis and it will take 10-15 days for the report to be ready. This report will be given to the commissioner of railway safety and to the officials concerned for further investigation,” he added.

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