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Rly tankers charred; ULFA hand suspected

A train with 48 wagons of high speed diesel and petrol from the Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) caught fire at Bhilgaon near Changpool in Golaghat, Assam, late Monday night. (EP)
Staff Reporter Dimapur, Nov 17 (NPN):
Published on 18 Nov. 2009 12:57 AM IST
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Railway services between Guwahati to Tinsukia and Dibrugargh were suspended on Tuesday after twelve railway wagons (tankers) carrying High Speed Diesel (HSD) and petrol from Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) and bound for Panki, Uttar Pradesh caught fire between Bhilgaon and Barpathar at around 9.10 p.m. Monday night. Police and firemen fought for around twelve-long hours to control the raging fire throughout the night and finally doused the flames only by Tuesday morning. The inferno which shot skywards upto a hundred meters could be seen several kilometers away. Around 300 metres of the railway tracks were totally damaged for which train services were suspended. According to a report by IANS, police suspect it to be the handiwork of ULFA militants who used battery operated explosives to trigger the blast. Some 40 meters of electrical wires were also recovered from the spot. Residents of the area said they heard a loud explosion and saw the train going up in flames. There were no reports of any casualty till the time of filing the report. According to reports, the ULFA and Adivasi militants are believed to be active in the area. Meanwhile, PRO Northeast Frontier Railway, Jayanta Sarma in a release said, all the trains plying between Guwahati-Tinsukia sections were terminated at Dimapur till repairs on the damaged tracks. BG express and Dibrugarh – Amritsar Express were also cancelled and passengers of Rajdhani Express coming from and going to Dibrugarh were trans-shipped between Sarupather and Mariani by road, the release said. The release also stated that 16 tanker-wagons of the train including the 12 that caught fire were affected while 35 wagons-- two non-tanker-wagons and one brake van were safely removed from the accident site. Four wagons that were derailed and capsized did not catch fire though oil leaked from three of them. Normal rail traffic would be resumed by Wednesday.

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