Nine passengers died when three coaches of the Mumbai-Dehradun Express caught fire near Dahanu town in Maharashtra's Thane district around 2:30 am today morning. The passengers were asleep when the train caught fire, therefore they were burnt alive.
The fire is believed to have flared in one of the coaches, which quickly spread to two other adjacent coaches, said the Western Railway officials. The fire could only be controlled after the train was brought to a halt at Gholwad station.
Had it not been for the level crossing gateman who noticed the fire, the situation could have been much worse. Western Railway PRO Sharat Chandra said, “The fire was noticed on the speeding train by a level-crossing gateman who alerted the guard. The guard informed the driver and the train was stopped. The gateman did a commendable job and averted a major disaster,” reported Zee News.
Speaking about this dreadful incident, Union Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge has announced an ex-gratia of Rs five lakhs to the family of those who were killed and a sum of 50,000 to those who received minor injuries. The railway board has also ordered an inquiry into the incident.
Accident relief vans have been sent from Mumbai and Gujarat for relief operations, and top officials have rushed to the site to supervise the relief operations. The injured are taken to the nearby hospitals at Dahanu and Gholwad.
The Railway helpline numbers given by the Western Railways are 23011853 for Mumbai Central, 2053001 for Borivali and 241903 for Valsad.