independent

Friday 18 April 2014

India train fire kills at least 26

Policeman and firefighters search for victims of a train accident at Kothacheruvu, India (AP)

A fire engulfed two coaches of an express train in southern India on Saturday, killing at least 26 passengers, officials said.

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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