In a tragic incident, 9 people have been killed, and 20 have been injured after fire broke out in a train coach at Madurai Station. The incident happened in a party-coach of a train which was stationed in the yard of Madurai Station. The fire broke out after the passengers illegally tried cooking inside the rail coach on Saturday morning. The preliminary investigations have revealed that the passengers had illegally smuggled a cooking gas cylinder into the train. The fire broke out at 5:15 am in the morning when they tried to make coffee. The other passengers in the train tried getting down from the train as soon as they saw the fire and smoke. The fire service personnels were alerted by 5:45 am, and the fire was put out by 7:15 am. Luckily, no other coaches were damaged. The train was parked in Bodi Lane of Madurai Station near Madurai railway station. According to media reports, the bodies have been shifted to the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai and rescue operations are underway. According to the statements given by the Madurai District Collector to the news media, the party coach had passengers from Uttar Pradesh, who were on a pilgrim tour. The train was en route from Lucknow to Rameshwaram. According to reports, there were around 65 passengers from Uttar Pradesh on the coach, which was later engulfed in flames. The private party coach had begun its journey from Lucknow on August 17 and was scheduled to reach Chennai by Sunday. Under the Railways Act, carrying inflammable objects is punishable. According to the Railway Manual passengers private tourist parties should give a written declaration that they will not carry any inflammable articles during their journey. And in this Madurai fire incident such declaration was given by the private party, but they illegally smuggled a gas cylinder. This incident shows us how our safety regulations lack when it comes to railway travel. Whenever we are travelling by airplanes, there is a tight security check to ensure that no passenger is carrying any illegal or prohibited items. But, why is it not the same when it comes to railways? Shouldn’t our railway stations be equipped with security personnel and metal detectors to ensure the safety of passengers? Today it’s the passengers who carried prohibited items which took the lives of many, but what if in future any terror activity takes place ? So, is our government waiting for more such bigger incidents to take some steps?
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