Thirty-two train passengers were charred to death and 25 others injured when a fire broke out in a coach of the New Delhi-Chennai Tamil Nadu Express near here in the wee hours today due to a short circuit.
Additional DG Railways V S K Kaumudi told PTI that 32 bodies have been recovered so far from the charred S-11 bogie of the train.
South Central Railway officials in Hyderabad said 25 people have been injured in the mishap and have been admitted to different hospitals.
According to Nellore district officials, the fire was noticed by a gateman at around 4.15 A.M who alerted officials.
Two fire tenders were rushed to the spot immediately to put out the fire and they managed to restrict the blaze to the S-11 bogie, they said.
Nellore District Collector B Sridhar said, "There was a short circuit near the toilet and the train was moving at a speed of 110 kms per hour. It was going to Chennai from Delhi.
All the passengers were asleep when the fire broke out at 4:30 AM. People were not able to come out immediately".
"The fire spread fast and the passengers could not come out through one of the doors because of the fire. So the other edge of the coach was to be used. Some people could come out while others succumbed to death," he said.
The bodies have been charred so it is difficult to identify them, Sridhar said.
Additional Joint Collector Laxmikant said the toll could rise up to 35 as some of the bodies are still to be recovered from the charred S-11 compartment.
Nellore district police officials said 14 passengers in the bogie were safe.
Some of the passengers travelling in the train told reporters that smoke engulfed the bogie soon after the fire broke out making it difficult for them to come out.
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