LAHORE: The Karachi-bound Jinnah Express train’s dining car caught fire near the Harrapa railway station in Sahiwal on Tuesday, causing suspension of the rail traffic for hours on the main line-1 (ML-1) between Lahore-Khanewal sections.
The passengers of Jinnah Express and those travelling by other trains that had to be stopped owing to the incident stranded for over four hours at various railway stations, an official source said.
“The fire erupted in the 32-down Jinnah Express’s dining car around 4pm when it was passing the Harrapa railway station on its way to Karachi. The dining car staff members tried to extinguish the fire on their own but when they failed to do so, a staff member pulled the chain to have the train stopped,” the source told Dawn.
He said police and Rescue 1122 teams responded to the emergency calls as did the officials of the Pakistan Railways. The teams extinguished fire and detached the affected dining car from the passenger coaches. They completed the process in four hours or so.
The PR administration also ordered an inquiry to know about the reasons behind eruption of fire in the dining car of the train. “An inquiry team will conduct probe into the incident and submit its report to the PR’s CEO within next three days or so,” another source said.
Meanwhile, various trains running between the Lahore-Khanewal sections faced a delay of five hours or so in reaching Lahore and other stations.
“The PR’s train schedule / timetable is already affected for the last many days due to various incidents of derailments. And Tuesday’s fire incident in Jinnah Express compounded the problem,” said the official.
He said the PR administration would have to focus on rehabilitation of the main line on a priority otherwise there was a risk of facing frequent derailments.
Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2019