India train fire kills 26 in Andhra Pradesh state

At least 26 people, including two children, have died after a fire broke out on a train in southern India

Related Stories

At least 26 people, including two children, have died after a fire broke out on a train in India, reports say.

The blaze engulfed a carriage of the Nanded-Bangalore Express while it was travelling through southern Andhra Pradesh state, rail officials said.

Police said many of the dead had been trapped inside and suffocated by thick black smoke filling the train.

An electrical short circuit may be to blame, officials say, and an inquiry is under way.

The fire broke out in an air-conditioned carriage around 03:30 local time (22:00 GMT) near the small town of Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh.

More than 60 passengers are thought to have been inside the carriage, and the doors were locked as is customary at night, reports said.

Some people managed to break windows and jump from the carriage, but firefighters discovered many bodies heaped up near the doors.

Identifying the dead will take time because many bodies were charred beyond recognition, rescue workers said.

'Chaos'

"We were all asleep. All of a sudden, we all woke up to a burning sensation," AFP news agency quoted a survivor, Sharad, as saying.

"There was chaos. We realised the bogie [carriage] was burning," Sharad said, adding he broke the glass window in a toilet cabin to allow three people to escape.

"But I could not save my wife and maternal uncle," he said in tears.

Policeman and firefighters search for victims of a train accident at Kothacheruvu, Andhra Pradesh state, India, on Saturday Rescuers found the bodies of victims heaped around the doors, which reports say were locked when the fire broke out
A policeman inspects the damage inside a train after an accident near Kothacheruvu, Andhra Pradesh state, India, on Saturday Pictures from inside the carriage showed the charred wreckage
A survivor of the train fire near Kothacheruvu, Andhra Pradesh state, India, mourns family lost in the blaze on Saturday This man (left) lost his wife and father-in-law in the inferno
Indian rescue personnel attempt douse smoke in a burning carriage of the train. Accidents are common on India's immense state-owned rail network

The burning carriage was delinked from the rest of the train to prevent the fire from spreading, railways spokesman CS Gupta said according to Associated Press news agency.

On his official Twitter account, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed his "shock and grief" at the disaster and said he had directed state and railway authorities to "extend all possible help to the victims".

Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said initial indications suggested an electrical short circuit could be to blame for the blaze, but an investigation is under way.

Map of India

The exact number of injured and missing people remains uncertain.

Accidents are common on India's immense state-owned rail network, which operates 9,000 passenger trains and carries some 18 million passengers every day, connecting every corner of the country.

Last year, 47 people were killed in a fire on a passenger train travelling in Andhra Pradesh. That blaze was also attributed to an electrical short circuit.

Are you in the area? You can contact us using the form below

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions

More on This Story

Related Stories

More India stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • RomeTop coffee cities

    These six places are known for their top-notch brews and caffeine-focused cultures

Programmes

  • Papers Please gameClick Watch

    Meet the ‘bedroom programmer’ whose game has sold half a million copies and won a Bafta

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.