The Delhi Metro authorities were forced to shut down the Kashmere Gate station for nearly an hour on Friday afternoon after a fire broke out in a sweetmeat shop there. As smoke engulfed the station, commuters were evacuated and halting of trains at the station was suspended for nearly 49 minutes.
Two persons sustained minor burns and were discharged after being administered first-aid. The Delhi Police and the Delhi Fire Service suspect that the blaze started due to a short-circuit inside the shop.
Kashmere Gate is an intersection station between the Red Line on the upper level and the Yellow Line on the lower level and has several facilities like restaurants and fast food joints spread across its various levels.
According to Delhi Metro authorities, it was around 1-30 p.m. that smoke was reported coming out from Bikano Shop at the concourse level of the underground section of the station. The situation was brought under control at 2-10 p.m. and normal services were restored at 2-29 p.m. after smoke extraction.
“The blaze spread to the underground platform area and as a precaution, the station was closed from 1-40 p.m. to 2-29 p.m.,” said Anuj Dayal, Executive Director of Corporate Communications.
The fire was controlled by the DFS personnel, with help from Central Industrial Security Force personnel and the station staff. Eight fire tenders were sent to the metro station to meet any exigency.
To facilitate quick evacuation, the Delhi Metro staff began making announcements over the public address system. Entry of commuters into the station was also barred simultaneously.
Trains did not stop at Kashmere Gate (elevated) station from 2 p.m. to 2-29 p.m. and Kashmere Gate (underground) station from 1-40 p.m. to 2-29 p.m. Interchange facility was also not available during this period.
An inquiry has been ordered by DMRC to look into the incident.