AS a team from the Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratory in Hyderabad picked up samples from the charred AC coach of the Bangalore-Nanded Express Sunday,the Railways too decided to pull up its socks on anti-fire technologies that have been under trial.
Caught napping in fire incidents in the past,the Railway Board is learnt to have decided to review the trial of a modified fire-alarm system currently installed in one Rajdhani train,with a view to expedite the process of induction.
Sources said Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge spoke to senior officials Saturday and sought an update on the technology and asked how soon they can be commissioned for Rajdhanis,Durontos and Shatabdis. An earlier version of the system installed in the Bhubaneswar Rajdhani on trial turned out to be a dud.
The new system,a modification on the old one,is programmed on the Very Early Warning Smoke Detection System strategy to detect smoke or fire at an incipient stage through continuous multi-point sampling and analysis of coach environment.
It has four levels of alarms based on the severity of the fire detected. Railways research arm has improved this system to interface it with the brake of the coaches so that in the event of a fire alarm,train stops before the hooter is sounded. But the system is suitable for AC coaches only. We need to develop the new system soon. The process is on, Chairman Railway Board Arunendra Kumar said.
Although the coachs interiors are made of fire-retardant materials,questions are being asked about the quality and effectiveness of the material.
20 bodies identified
Bangalore: A day after 26 people were charred to death in a train fire here,20 bodies were identified and eight of them have been handed over to relatives.Railways Commercial Manager Ramesh said the unidentified bodies have been sent for DNA test. These tests take at least 48 hours or more. We request the families of the deceased to come forward for identifying the bodies, he said. The bodies were brought to government-run Victoria Hospital Saturday evening. Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge had announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to next of kin of the deceased,Rs 1 lakh for grievous injuries and Rs 50,000 for simple injuries. PTI