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'Cause of fire in Howrah-Dehradun Doon Express being investigated': Trivedi

November 22, 2011 - New Delhi

Expressing his deep condolences to the bereaved families, Union Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi today said the main cause of fire in the two railway wagons of the Howrah-Dehradun Doon Express train was yet to be determined.

Trivedi said it was a very sad incident and the exact cause of the fire was being investigated.

"This is a very sad incident, the fire in two train coaches. The cause of the fire is being investigated and we are very sad by this incident. When we were informed about this incident, the chairman and the board members and me, we all went to the office. We have just given a notice to the speaker of Parliament for a suo motu statement," said Trivedi told mediapersons ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament.

"As the Winter Session of Parliament is about to begin, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further before the suo motu statement," he added.

Trivedi also announced, on humanitarian grounds, enhanced ex-gratia amount of Rs. five lakh to the next of the kin of each deceased and Rs. 25,000/- to each passenger of the affected B1 and B2 coaches to provide immediate relief for inconvenience and loss of belongings.

Meanwhile, Congress lawmaker Rajiv Shukla condemning the train accident in Jharkhand today said it was inappropriate to blame any political party for the unfortunate incident.

"Safety measures are being regularly taken by the Railways. During the NDA rule such incidents had taken place, after that Nitish Kumar had also taken some steps, so after that the railway ministers have taken safety measures," said Shukla.

"So, after the complete implementation of these measures, the results would show. This incident is unfortunate and it will be inappropriate to blame any political party," he added.

In Jharkhand, seven persons died in a fire incident involving 13009 Howrah-Dehradun Doon Express between Nimiya Ghat and Parashnath stations in Giridih district under Dhanbad Railway Division of East Central Railway at about 02.35 a.m.

While the train was on run, fire broke out in Three Tier Air Conditioned Coach B1, positioned eighth from train engine. Subsequently, it also spread to adjacent Three Tier AC Coach B2. As a result of the fire, the two coaches got completely burnt.

Medical Relief was immediately dispatched through Accident Relief Medical Train from Dhanbad. Fire Brigades from Dhanbad and Giridih reached the site and extinguished the fire.

Divisional Railway Manager, Dhanbad, rushed to the site along with his team of officers to supervise the relief and rescue operations. Senior officers from Zonal headquarters at Hajipur also reached the site.

A team of officers from Railway Board was also dispatched to accident site. Stranded passengers have since been transported towards the destination.

The statutory inquiry into this incident has been ordered to be conducted by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), Eastern Circle, under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The General Managers of all Zonal Railways have been instructed to exercise extra vigil as well as launch a special safety drive regarding precautions to be taken to avoid recurrence of such accidents.


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