FSC Responds To Locomotive Fire Incident

It can be determined that the cane load caused the skidding which led to an overheating of the locomotive
08 Oct 2019 09:00
FSC Responds To Locomotive Fire Incident

The exact cause of the Lautoka Mill Locomotive fire on Sunday in Lautoka Mill is still under investigation, however, it can be determined that the cane load caused the skidding which led to an overheating of the locomotive.

The Fiji Sugar Corporation Head of Strategic Communications Elenoa Korovulavula confirmed this in an official statement yesterday

“At around 2pm on Sunday 6th October, Lautoka Mill Locomotive number 11 carrying over ninety trucks and cage bins encountered difficulty at the incline at Butchery point, just outside of Drasa. Locomotive number 11 struggled at this hill and eventually started to skid,” she said.

“Light showers at that time further deteriorated the tram as it was wet and the locomotive encountered much difficulty in moving forward.”

She said a distress call was made by the driver of the Locomotive to another driver for Locomotive 24, requesting assistance with the load after which the driver for Locomotive 11 tried to split the cane load in half in an effort to lighten the load, however before that could eventuate, the locomotive’s engine had overheated and caught fire.

“The Points Man was able to jump out of the train as the fire started, however, the driver who was still attempting to retrieve the locomotive’s fire extinguisher to put the fire out had his shirt catch fire and was inevitably forced to jump out of the locomotive too,” she said

Ms Korovulavula confirmed that both the employees sustained minor injuries and were taken to the Lautoka Hospital.

“They have since both been discharged. No one else was injured or affected by the fire and another locomotive was able to transport all the cane to the Lautoka Mill on the same day. Locomotive number 11 has also been towed to the Lautoka Mill for investigation,” she said.

“FSC is currently conducting a thorough investigation to ascertain the root cause of the incident.”

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