The Indian Railways will take up expeditious installation of three types of fire safety systems on all types of passenger coaches.
The decision to speed up the provision of fire-fighting infrastructure on trains was taken in the second week of August.
According to official sources, the Railway Board has directed General Managers of all Zonal Railways to expeditiously complete the process of providing fire and smoke detection systems in AC coaches, fire detection and suppression systems in pantry cars and power cars and fire extinguishers in non-AC coaches.
Asked whether the ill-fated tourist coach that went up in flames in Madurai killing nine persons recently was fitted with fire extinguishers, a senior official of the Southern Railway said the Commissioner of Railway Safety was probing the circumstances that led to the incident and also the response system.
“It is not clear whether the coach had fire extinguishers. Going by preliminary reports, the shunting staff on noticing the fire emanating from the coach tried to put it off by using fire extinguishers kept in the shunting engine [locomotive]. But the fire was too big to be contained using hand-held extinguishers. Four water lorries were deployed to douse the flames triggered by a suspected cylinder blast,” the official who did not want to be quoted said.