Rlys to audit fire retardants

Alarmed by two train fire accidents in a short span, the Railway ministry proposes  an audit on quality of fire retardant material used in manufactured coaches. The railway ministry will also convene a high level meeting this week to review fire safety on trains.

“We will check whether the material used as fire retardant in coaches is effective. The fire retardants should resist burning to the extent that people should have time to evacuate. The check would be conducted on all types of trains,” Chairman, Railway Board, Arunendra Kumar told reporters on Wednesday.

On the fire in Dehradun Express near Mumbai, the CRB said some immediate measures were being initiated to prevent such accidents, including fire alarm system on trains. The alarm system tried on Bhubaneswar Rajdhani train was not found suitable. Another alarm system being tested on Jammu Rajdhani train might pass the muster, he said.

Provision of fire extinguisher in every coach and equipping coach attendant with fire gear are  measures which are intended to be implemented without delay. On the fire accidents on Bangalore-Nanded Express and Dehradun Express, occurring within a span of 12 days, the Chairman said it was too early to know the reason behind the fires. “However, every aspect is being looked into,” he said.

Kumar said that 70 tonne material from the accident site have been collected for forensic tests to ascertain the cause of the Bangalore-Nanded Express fire. “After the Bangalore-Nanded Express accident, we have started checking electric circuits on trains to ensure they are not outdated,” said Kumar.

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