Fire near rail tracks hits peak hour Mumbai commuters

Mumbai, Jan 23 (IANS) A massive fire near the Central Railway (CR) tracks at Masjid Bunder station severely disrupted evening peak hour traffic hitting tens of thousands of commuters bound for home here on Monday.

A fire brigade official said the blaze broke out in around two dozen hutments adjacent to the seventh railway line near the station around 6 p.m.

“The fire is confined to the hutments only, but the place is very congested and surrounded by buildings and the railway lines, making the approach difficult,” an official said.

At least 12 fire-tenders and eight water tankers were pressed into service to battle the blaze, a BMC Disaster Control Cell official said.

Two teenage boys, Ramjan and Salim sustained burn injuries in the blaze and have been rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment, the official said.

Central Railway’s suburban and long-distance services were badly hit as the up and down fast tracks were closed for operations owing to the proximity of the fire to railway assets including high-tension electric cables and overhead wires.

While several local trains services were cancelled, others moved in and out slowly and certain long-distance trains awaiting departure were delayed on Mumbai’s local trains, which caters to over eight million commuters daily.

The delays and disruptions extended to suburbs in north Mumbai, Thane and Raigad, and the consequent spillover of commuters affected even the Western Railway (WR) services.

Huge crowds of stranded commuters were witnessed at major CR stations like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Byculla, Dadar, Ghatkopar, Mulund and WR’s Dadar, Bandra and Andheri.

–IANS

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