Thiruvananthapuram: A major tragedy was averted by alert passengers of Mangalore-Thiruvananthapuram Malabar Express when they stopped the train by pulling the chain seeing one of the bogies on fire.
The incident happened early Sunday morning when the parcel coach behind the engine caught fire near Varkala in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram district.
The passengers immediately informed the railway authorities and evacuated all onboard the train.
An attempt was made to douse the blaze with fire extinguishers available in the train before the fire force personnel, who rushed to the spot, put it out.
There was no report of any casualty.
Shinoj, a passenger of the train, said seeing the smoke he first thought it must be due to some garbage being burnt on roadside. He later informed the police control room.
Two motorcycles were among the goods gutted, the sources said adding a staff of Kasaragod railway parcel office has been suspended pending inquiry into lapses if any in booking of the vehicles.
According to preliminary assessment, it was suspected one of the bikes could have triggered the fire, the sources said without elaborating further. The exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
Later, the train left for its destination after officials, including the Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer, inspected the luggage van and found it fit for journey.