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Madurai Train fire incident: Indian Railways to conduct statutory inquiry

A statutory investigation will be carried out by Indian Railways into the Madurai fire incident involving a private party coach. On Saturday morning, a fire started inside a halted train compartment at the railway station, killing nine passengers in total.

In a statement, Southern Railway said, “Shri AM Chowdhary, Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), will hold a Statutory Inquiry into the incident of fire involving IRCTC Tourist Coach (NE-CN 113210) Stabled in Madurai Railway Station Yard.” The Inquiry will commence from 09:30 hrs on August 27, 2023, in the DRM’s conference Hall, at the Divisional Railway Manager’s office Complex, Madurai.

“Any Member of the Public having knowledge relating to the incident and matter connected therewith and desiring to give evidence may do so at the DRM’s Conference Hall,” the zonal railway said.

The national transporter has announced helpline numbers to share the information related to the fire incident. These are 9360552608, 8015681915, 9360552591 and 6383914736.

A tour operator is the subject of an FIR filed by the Government Railway Police (GRP) for allegedly transporting a cooking gas cylinder inside a train without a permit. In a press release, the zonal railway said, “With respect to ‘illegal smuggling’ of cooking gas cylinders in the tourist coach by the tour operator, a criminal case has been registered by GRP under various sections of the IPC and Railways Act.”

Following all requisite medical and legal procedures, the Southern Railway and IRCTC have made the necessary air travel arrangements for the transportation of bodies to Lucknow.

The party coach left Lucknow on August 17, 2023, and was scheduled to return to Chennai on August 27, 2023, via train number 16824 Kollam-Chennai Egmore Ananthapuri Express, before moving on to Lucknow. The carriage was retained at the Madurai Stabling Line by the railroads after the event.

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