Ernakulam: A joint exercise of disaster management and recovery was conducted at Ernakulam Marshaling Yard on May 25, 2018 by Southern Railway with National Disaster Response Force, Arakkonam Battalion. The drill scenario was ‘Fire in railway coach due to inflammable materials’.
A condemned second class sleeper coach was mobilised to the spot as a part of the mock drill. At about 08.05 hrs, a telephone message was received at Traffic Control Office, Thiruvananthapuram, that a passenger coach had derailed and caught fire at Ernakulam Marshalling Yard. Control officials relayed the message to Police, Fire and Rescue, Railway Disaster Management team comprising Medical, Mechanical, Electrical, Traction Distribution, Operations, Engineering, Signal and Telecommunications departments. All the department personnel and officers reached the accident location quickly and started the rescue operations. Four Fire & Rescue engines brought the fire under control. Sophisticated equipments were used for breaking open the window and coach body for performing an evacuation drill.
Safety Department, Thiruvananthapuram Division led by Ravikumaran Nair IRSEE, Mohammed Shameem, Divisional Mechanical Engineer; S S Parihar IRSEE Sr.DEE/Traction Distribution; and T S Gopakumar, Assistant Commandant/Railway Protection Force. coordinated the drill jointly with National Disaster Response Force, Arakkonam Battalion led by Binoj Joseph Assistant Commandant/NDRF. St. John Ambulance Brigade participated in the drill. The objective of the exercise was to strengthen the disaster response mechanism. This exercise helped to assess disaster response and frame coordinated procedures for rescue operations during railway accidents.