'5-minute delay would have gutted entire bogie'

Jalajakshi

It was Jalajakshi Manohar Rai from Tingaladi in Puttur taluk who averted a major fire mishap in an AC bogie of Mangala Express (Train no-12618) travelling between Nizamuddin and Ernakulam, near Bijoor in Udupi district, in the wee hours of Sunday. 

The presence of mind displayed by Jalajakshi averted a major fire mishap. She was travelling from Mumbai with her daughter Akshatha, son-in-law Nishchal Shetty and an eight-month-old baby. She was on B4 seat of AC compartment in the train while her daughter and son-in-law were in B10.

‘Fire, danger’

She said; “As I was sleeping in the berth near the toilet, I did not get sleep. Suddenly I smelt something burning and saw smoke billowing from the toilet. Immediately I ran towards my daughter and son-in-law and informed them.”

Her son-in-law, without wasting a moment, pulled the emergency chain and the train came to a screeching halt. “Later, we alighted from the train. As I did not have much experience in travelling on the train, I was scared and was shivering with fear,” she said while recollecting the incident. 

Nishchal Shetty said they were all asleep. “When my mother-in-law started shouting, I didn’t know what was happening. My mother-in-law was shouting ‘fire danger’  and alerting others. As we could not alight from the toilet side, we ran in order to alight from the train on the opposite side. The entire coach would have got charred if there had been a delay of five minutes,” he added. 

“We were nearly two-kilometre away from the Bijoor Railway Station. There were two houses at the spot where the train had stopped. The house inmates brought their pipe to douse the fire. The train remained grounded for two hours. Later, the coach was detached at Senapura Railway Station. We alighted at Mangaluru and reached home safely,” he recounted. 

Youth help

A group of youth near Govinda Temple helped to extinguish the fire. “We heard a noise at around 1.15 am. Even our cattle began mooing at home. When we stepped out of our houses we saw the coach of a train on fire. Around 25 youth in the neighbourhood were alerted and we ran towards the train.” 

Harkerimane Manjunath Devadiga helped the passengers to alight from the train. “We also helped the passengers get their luggage out of the coach. Luckily the train stopped at a place where the two houses had enough water in the well. Harkere Manjunath Devadiga and Ramesh Devadiga joined pipes to draw water upto the coach to douse the fire.” 

“We supplied water to the passengers in train,” they said.

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