Two coaches of the New Delhi-Visakhapatnam AP Express on Monday caught fire near Birlanagar station here after the air-conditioning unit of a coach threw up a problem, officials said.
All the passengers in the train, including 150 in the B-6 and B-7 coaches that got gutted, escaped unhurt, they said.
"The fire appears to have started from the Roof Mounted Packaged Unit (RMPU- the railway terminology for an air-conditioning unit in a coach) above the toilet of the B-7 coach," a top railway official said on the condition of anonymity.
The official was quoting the prima facie investigation report.
Officials said that the passengers escaped unhurt as some of them saw smoke emanating and pulled the emergency alarm chain.
Two coaches -- B-6 and B-7 -- of train No. 22416 (New Delhi - Visakhapatnam), a fully air-conditioned express, caught fire around 11.45 am, North Central Railway (NCR), Chief Public Relations Officer, Gaurav Krishna Bansal said.
Thirty-seven deputy collectors were on board the train. None of them were injured in the incident, an official said, adding that they were returning from training.
The fire damaged the B-6 and B-7 coaches, Gwalior Superintendent of Police Navneet Bhasin told PTI.
The damaged coaches were later detached from the train, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Jhansi, Vipin Kumar Singh said.
The train, with the remaining 12 coaches, left for its onward journey at 3.55 pm. Two air-conditioned coaches would be attached to the train at the Itarsi railway junction, he said.
He said that the luggage of ‘one or two’ passengers might have got damaged in the process of escaping the fire.
The fire broke out in the B-7 coach and spread to the B-6 coach, NCR's Jhansi Division Public Relations Officer Manoj Singh told PTI.
He added that the train, it appears, was not running fast after it left the Birlanagar station for its next destination, Gwalior station.
Director of Publicity, Railway Board, Ved Prakash said, "All the passengers in the affected coaches were evacuated. No injuries have been reported so far. Three fire tenders helped douse the flames."
NCR's Senior Divisional Safety Officer Bhim Raj Dhanna rushed to the spot from Jhansi to conduct an inspection.
He was accompanied by Senior (Jhansi) Divisional Security Commissioner Ramesh Chandra.
"I have submitted my prime facie investigation report to higher authorities" Dhanna told PTI over the phone from the spot.
Meanwhile, NCR's Chief Safety Officer S K Kashyap told PTI that a team headed by him would inquire into the incident in detail and submit a report in three days.
Kashyap said that he would reach Gwalior on Tuesday morning.
Asked if there was a sabotage angle involved, Kashyap said that he could not rule out anything.