Inferno at Bahraich as kerosene-filled wagons catch fire

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Nineteen wagons of a goods train carrying kerosene caught fire near Jarval Road station in Bahraich district in the wee hours of Friday, disrupting the rail traffic on Lucknow-Gorakhpur route for the whole day.

According to North-Eastern Railway (NER) officials, the wagons caught fire soon after the train got derailed as 16 wagons, including the engine went off the track when the train was between Jarval Road and Saryu railway station around 3.15 am. The train, which had 49 wagons in all, was carrying petroleum products and was running at the speed of about 35 km per hour at the time of derailment, the officials added.

Alok Srivastava, spokesperson of NER, said that the railway employees succeeded in detaching 31 wagons from the part of train which had caught fire. He said three trains were cancelled and another four were cancelled partially, while the route of 25 trains was diverted after the incident. The fire had been controlled by Friday noon with the help of more than a dozen fire brigade machines which laboured for more than eight hours.

V K Yadav, Divisional Railway Manager(Lucknow) of NER, who visited the site, said prima facie it has been found that the wagons caught fire after the train had got derailed about 4 km away from Jarval Road station. He said it was not clear what caused the derailment as the track has got damaged but an inquiry under the supervision of NER's Chief Safety Officer has been ordered.

Yadav said the fire caused a loss of kerosene worth about Rs 1.70 crore. The train was coming from Asaudha in Palwal district of Haryana and was going to Baitalpur in Deoria district of Uttar Pradesh carrying the petroleum products of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), he added.

He said none of the wagons which caught fire exploded and no kerosene spilled out of them, however the kerosene was burnt. Yadav said the fire had been doused completely and they were working on clearing the track, adding that they expected to resume traffic on the route by Friday midnight.

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