independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

India train fire kills at least 26 people

Hospital staff and volunteers carry a body of a passenger near the site of a train accident at Kothacheruvu, about 155km (96 miles) north of Bangalore, India
Hospital staff and volunteers carry a body of a passenger near the site of a train accident at Kothacheruvu, about 155km (96 miles) north of Bangalore, India

A fire engulfed two coaches of an express train in southern India today, killing at least 26 passengers.

Sixty-seven passengers were in the two cars when the fire broke out about one mile from the small town of Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh state, said a spokesman for the railways, CS Gupta.

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

Firefighters put out the blaze 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 taken to hospitals with injuries sustained when they jumped from the coaches, the official said.

Many bodies were found near jammed doors, he said.

Medical teams have carried out autopsies to identify the bodies.

The train was travelling 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 is under way.

Press Association

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