Three firefighting forces worked on Thursday evening, August 25, to extinguish a blaze which broke out on a passenger car of an Israel Railways train as it was traveling from Haifa to Be’er Sheva. Passengers and crew aboard the southbound train were evacuated after it caught fire near Hadera. Firefighters worked to control the blaze and no injuries were reported, but because of the incident, trains throughout the country experienced significant delays.
A replacement train was sent to collect the passengers who had been evacuated to bring them to Binyamina. Ynet reported that it appears that the source of the conflagration was in the lower part of the train, near the brakes. According to Israel Railways, among other reasons, a fire can be caused by a stuck brake. Meanwhile, Channel 10 news reported that the passenger car of the type which caught fire are maintained by a private company, following a controversial move which initiated outsourcing of maintenance work by Israel Railways, and which led to a bitter strike by railway workers last year. Channel 10 also reported that Thursday’s fire was at least the third such incident since the partial privatization of maintenance by Israel Railways.