Bengal minister identifies 'shortcomings' in Kolkata Metro following Dec 27 fire



The West Bengal Fire and Emergency Services Minister Sujit Bose on Thursday said his department has "identified certain shortcomings" in Kolkata Metro's safety armour, including non-functional alarm and fire detection system, after the December 27 train fire incident that left 40 passengers injured.

"We investigated all 24 stations between Kolkata's Kavi Subhash and Noapara in North 24 Parganas and identified the shortcomings after the incident that raised a question on safety and security of the passengers," Bose said.

He said reports suggest that the fire alarms and detection system were not functional, there were shortcomings in the smoke management system and other instruments.

Also, there is no proper mechanism that can help in the evacuation of a person in case he falls sick.

"Metro rail is a Central government's organisation where thousands of people work. I think there was slackness on their part, so we are sending our suggestions to them," the minister said.

Elaborating on the suggestions, he said they have proposed a smoke detector inside the train, a fire check door and electric installation in the server room, the presence of men with firefighting training who can take passengers out safely.

"The smoke management system should be efficient enough to clear the smoke quickly during an emergency. Also, there should be an alternative electric system, so that there is no panic-like situation in case of a power failure," he said.

At least 40 people were injured after an air-conditioned rake of a metro train in Kolkata caught fire on December 27 evening disrupting metro services partially for four hours.-IANS