Chennai: The engine of Sapthagiri Express caught fire near Nemilichery after departing from Chennai Central this morning. Fortunately, the fire was detected early and contained and no injuries were reported.
Sapthagiri Express (train No. 21261) departed from the Chennai Central to Tirupati at 6.25 am today. When the locomotive crossed Avadi, it was stopped as the engine driver detected smoke and saw a ‘minor’ fire outside the engine.
The locomotive remained stationary on the ‘active track’ for around 1.5 hours disrupting the plans of Tirupati-bound pilgrims on board the train. It was reported that the train carried 175 passengers in the AC compartment, 688 people in the reserved coaches and 400 in the general compartment.
Moreover, since the Sapthagiri Express broke down on an active track, Chennai – Arakkonam / Jolarpettai / Tiruttani trains were also stopped till alternative arrangements were made. A few trains were re-routed through Chennai suburban train tracks and connected back to the main line. Over 20 trains were reported to have suffer delays, affecting thousands of passengers.
Railway officials suspect that the fire may have been caused due to overheating. Since only the Avadi to Chennai local train lines were active after the incident, the passenger crowd grew to unmanageable levels at all stations.