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Railway cushion materials gutted

Special Correspondent

— Photo: G. Moorthy

Ravaged: The remains of an upholstery unit which was destroyed in a fire in Madurai on Thursday.

MADURAI: Cushion materials meant for fitting in sleeper berths of railway coaches were destroyed in a fire that broke out in the wee hours of Thursday near Railway Colony. There were no casualties. Fire and Rescue Services Department personnel rushed to the spot in two fire tenders following a call received at 4.40 a.m. The fire was extinguished after two hours, officers said.

The materials, belonging to a contractor in Mumbai, were stored in an asbestos covered hall near the Railway Inspection and Overhauling area and were intended to be fitted in six carriages.

The contractor had employed workers from north India who cooked food there . A spark from the cooking stove may have caused the fire, Divisional Fire Officer A. Karunakaran told The Hindu.

No provision

A fire officer said that there was no provision in the area to fight fire and the approach road was narrow. Cooking stoves are prohibited in industrial areas, he added.

Fire and Rescue Services Department Director K. R. Shyam Sundar, who was in the city recently, had appealed to high-rise building owners and representatives of many industrial establishments at a meeting to ensure that their premises adhered to all fire safety norms.

The property loss is being assessed. Further investigation is on.

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