Dozens dead in southern India train fire

AIJAZ RAHI AND NIRMALA GEORGE
Last updated 08:37 29/12/2013
Reuters

A fire breaks out in a train coach in India's southern Andhra Pradesh state, killing at least 23 people and injuring nine others.

Relevant offers

Asia

Penguins parade in Christmas outfits in Japanese park South Korean parliament votes overwhelmingly to impeach President Park Kiwi woman awarded for creating mobile Papua New Guinea libraries 'I carried his body': Grim work at the heart of Aceh's killer quake as toll passes 100 No survivors likely in crash of Pakistani plane carrying about 40 people Magnitude 6.5 earthquake hits near Banda Aceh, Indonesia, killing 97 people Navy sent for as 800 tourists stranded on Havelock Island Lights back on in North Korea's doomed hotel fuel rumours of its reopening Families of flight MH370 victims offer reward for debris Trump takes on China in tweets on currency and South China Sea

A fire has engulfed a coach of an express train in southern India, killing at least 26 passengers, many of whom became trapped and suffocated after the doors failed to open, officials said.

As the inferno and thick black smoke raced through the car at about 3.45am on Saturday (local time), panicked passengers broke the windows and many saved themselves by jumping from the train.

Sixty-seven passengers were in the carriage when the fire broke out about 2 kilometres (1 mile) from the small town of Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh state, said railways spokesman CS Gupta.

The train was brought to a halt and the burning coach was delinked from the rest of the cars to prevent the fire from spreading, Gupta said.

The fire spread to a second coach, but the blaze was put out before it caused much damage, Gupta said.

Firefighters put out the blaze in the burning coach and retrieved at least 26 bodies, including two children, said a railway official at the site of the fire. More than a dozen people were brought to hospitals with injuries sustained when they jumped from the train, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Firefighters had to force the doors open and make their way through the smoke-filled coach to reach the dead, the official said.

Many bodies were found near the jammed doors, he said.

Medical teams carried out autopsies to identify the bodies, many of which were charred beyond recognition.

The train was traveling from Bangalore to Nanded in the western state of Maharashtra.

Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said preliminary reports from the site indicated that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit. An investigation was underway.

Accidents are common on India's railroad network, one of the world's largest, with some 18 million passengers daily. Most collisions and fires are blamed on poor maintenance and human error.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content