26 Dead, 8 injured in Fire Accident on Bangalore-Nanded Express
In a fire accident on Bangalore-Nanded express, 26 passengers were charred to death when an AC coach of Bangalore-Nanded Express caught fire in the district early today
“So far 26 persons have died in the incident. Rescue operations are still going on,” Anantpur District SP S Senthil Kumar told PTI.
The fire broke out at 3:30 AM in the B1 coach packed with 64 passengers at Kothacheravu Railway Station. A majority of the passengers were sleeping when the fire broke out. Forensic teams from Hyderabad are on their way the spot to collect samples for analysis.
Most of the injured have been treated as out patients in different hospitals, he said. District Medical and Health Officials said they are conducting autopsy of the deceased at the accident spot.
Dr C Ramasubba Rao, DM and HO said femur (thighbone) of the deceased will be preserved for DNA test as the bodies were charred beyond recognition.
This is the second train mishap in the district. In March last year, 25 passengers were killed, near Penukonda in the district when the Bangalore-bound Hampi Express rammed into a stationary goods train after its driver apparently overshot the signal near the station here in the wee hours.
Union Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said that a short circuit could have caused the fire in the AC coach of Bangalore-Nanded Express. Kharge, who has ordered an inquiry into the mishap, said that 23 passengers were confirmed dead and four others injured.
The AC coach had 67 passengers on board, of which 23 were trapped in the fire while others managed to alight as the attendant noticed smoke and the train was stopped, he told PTI.
Quoting preliminary reports from Railway officials present at the spot, Kharge said, “Short circuit could have caused the fire” but the inquiry would reveal the exact cause.”
He said that an inquiry would be conducted by a panel which would also have other senior officials including Member (Electrical).
Kharge said a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each would be given to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs one lakh to the grievously injured and Rs 50,000 to others injured.
Medical expenses would be borne by the Railways. He said the bodies would be brought to Bangalore.