New Delhi, Sept. 13 (PTI): Firecrackers carried by passengers led to the blaze in the Tamil Nadu Express that claimed 32 lives in July, according to an inquiry by the commissioner of railway safety (CRS).
The inquiry report has absolved railway staff.
The CRS, south central circle, Dinesh Kumar Singh, conducted the probe into the fire that occurred in the early hours of July 30 in the Delhi- Chennai Tamil Nadu Express at Nellore.
Twenty-eight people were injured in the incident.
The report, submitted to the railway ministry, has categorically stated that “failure of persons other than railway staff” was the cause.
An analysis of the samples from the charred coach by the Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratory had found chemicals used in manufacturing firecrackers like potassium, nitrate and sulphur.
Some of the crackers were found to have exploded and some had been affected by the heat, said the CRS report.
“Most probably, one of the crackers might have got ignited due to some accidental impact or due to some person throwing a lighted object like cigarette or matchstick near it unknowingly. The fire would have spread very fast due to burning of substantial amount of crackers kept nearby,” it has observed.
The cracker blast could have been mistaken for an explosion, as has been reported by a few passengers, said the report.
The fire generated dense smoke that caused irritation, difficulties in breathing, incapacitated the passengers and also made them unconscious, the CRS observed.