Keeping in view past fire incidents that took place on the Indian Railways network, including fire in a running Shatabdi in the month of March, the Railway Ministry has come up with a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on incidents of fire for those on board as well as at stations and elsewhere.
The SOP guides on how to prevent loss of lives and minimize damage to property in case a train catches fire, according to an IE report. The training material for railway staff developed as per the new SOP said that more people in train accidents expired due to suffocation from smoke rather than actual burning. The poisonous gases like CO, CO2, etc., being lighter in weight circulate in the upper part during fire incidents while oxygen in the lower part.
The SOP, created by the national transporter for the first time, mentioned that railway passengers should be advised to crawl on floor instead of running and also they should be advised to take a wet piece of cloth and cover their nostrils. On March 13, one New Delhi-Dehradun Shatabdi Special coach caught fire soon after crossing Raiwala in the state of Uttarakhand. The train was stopped, onboard passengers were taken out and before the train was sent on its way to Dehradun, the coach was detached.
As per probe, the fire might have resulted due to smoking in the toilet. Now, Indian Railways is providing training to all the concerned staff as per the new SOP on what they should do in case of fire incidents.