A PUBLIC safety education campaign is to be launched by the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) after passengers forced open carriage doors and spilled onto the track during Tuesday's fire at Sha Tin station. Media manager Elinda Luk Hing-ling said passengers acted irresponsibly and put their own lives at risk in what was a chaotic situation. She said some could have acted out of panic on realising there was a fire, but she believed many forced the doors out of sheer impatience. ''I wouldn't say they were stupid, but being anxious to leave the train meant they put themselves in danger,'' she said. A southbound train stopped 400 metres from the station when fire broke out on a platform following the explosion of a compressor being used in the construction of a new escalator. The fire damaged overhead cables and officials decided to tow the train and its several hundred passengers back to Fo Tan. But after half an hour passengers forced open the sliding doors and began running down the track. ''The driver had no choice but to open the doors and together with the ticket inspector led them to Sha Tin station before making sure there was no one left on the track,'' Ms Luk said. ''The passengers could have been trapped in the doors, fallen on to the track or there could have been another locomotive coming by.'' ''We are currently looking at the damage caused to the train doors. One person alone could not open them, there must have been a number of people doing it.'' The exact cause and cost of Tuesday's fire - which stopped trains in the area for more than 90 minutes - is still being investigated. Ms Luk said while she was satisfied with the safety and evacuation procedures of her staff, the company would be launching a public safety education campaign. Station announcements are planned giving details of emergency procedures as well as visits to schools, community groups and other centres. While Ms Luk defended the KCRC against passenger criticism that feeder buses it organised to ease the congestion were inadequate, the Transport Department said it would investigate ways of strengthening the service. The KCRC arranged 28 buses each carrying 100 passengers between Tai Po and Kowloon and asked the Public Omnibus Operators' Association to assist. The Transport Department asked Kowloon Motor Bus to help ferry stranded passengers. ''But when one train carries 4,000 passengers, you can see the extent of the problem,'' Ms Luk said. Congestion on access roads meant the trains began operating before many buses arrived. In 1991, the KCRC was criticised for taking two hours to provide feeder bus services for stranded passengers following a breakdown in services between Sha Tin and Tai Po. A Transport Department spokesman said: ''We will see if it is possible to strengthen the feeder bus service, but there will always be problems especially when there is a fire at peak hours and the department will always get blamed. ''What we can do when an emergency happens is deal with it as best as we can.''