Mysore/Mysuru: The fire incidences in trains are among the most disastrous events leading to loss of lives and the property of Indian Railways. Therefore, preventive measures are of great importance and require the support of rail customers.
A train fire is different from a fire in other places — whether how it breaks out, grows and spreads, and in the method of fighting it, as well as the damages it ultimately causes.
Fire on a running train is more dangerous than a static one because the fanning effect could spread the fire fairly quickly to other coaches, and in panic, the passengers might jump out of the running train as it had happened in past train accidents. Hence, taking all possible steps to prevent a fire from breaking out in coaches, and if it breaks out, to prevent it from spreading and causing further damage are being given great importance by the Railways.
Keeping this in mind, special drives were organised onboard two express trains on Mysuru-Mandya Section by South Western Railway (SWR) Mysuru Division on Dec. 10.
The trains were inspected by the multi-departmental team comprising Sr. Officers of Safety, Security, Mechanical, and Commercial Branches of SWR Mysuru Division. Driving home the point that awareness was the key to eliminating fire mishaps in trains, the team held demonstration sessions at 15 locations about the importance of the Emergency Windows in passenger-carrying trains.
A cross-section of passengers, numbering nearly 1,000, were explained the sequence in which the Emergency Windows open as mentioned in the pictorial notices provided in the compartments. On close observation, it emerged that a vast majority of the passengers were unaware or had real difficulty understanding the technique of opening the Emergency Windows.
The inspecting officials felt that a more focused approach was the need of the hour in this area, involving the onboard train crew.
The passengers had a visual demonstration about the use of fire extinguishers provided at both ends of the passenger compartments near the vestibules. About 20 passengers — students, women and senior citizens — were part of the group actively participating in operating the fire extinguishers in exigencies. The team appreciated the enthusiasm of the passengers in learning this task.
Rahul Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), South Western Railway, Mysuru Division, has called upon the rail passengers to cooperate with the Railways in preventing fire mishaps in trains.
He also warned that transportation of highly inflammable/dangerous articles, smoking inside compartments and other unsafe practices were unlawful and the violators would be facing the law, according to a press release from Dr. Manjunath Kanamadi, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager and Sr. PRO.