At least 32 passengers died in sleep and 25 were injured when a coach of the Chennai-bound Tamil Nadu Express caught fire early Monday. Railway minister Mukul Roy said it was sabotage.
"I have ordered an inquiry," Roy said before leaving for the accident spot near Nellore in Andhra Pradesh.
Nellore district collector B Sridhar, who was supervising rescue operations, attributed the fire to a short-circuit.
A coach of the Chennai bound Tamil Nadu Express smoulders hours after it caught fire in a pre-dawn incident. UNI
"There was a short circuit near the toilet. The fire spread fast and the passengers could not come out through one of the doors," he said.
The jammed door led to passengers rushing to the other end for escape.
This could have been the reason for more casualties, eyewitnesses said.
Coach S-11, which caught fire at around 4.15am, ran for about 15 minutes before the flames were detected. It took the fire brigade an hour to control the blaze.
Some passengers are unaccounted for. Among them are five who boarded the train from Delhi.
"There was thick smoke in the bogey. Those sleeping on the upper berths could not escape," said a passenger.
The list of those injured:
At Government Hospital, Nellore:
1) KK Sunil Kumar, New Delhi-Chennai
2) Amarpreet Singh, New Delhi-Chennai (S11-57)
3) Venkata Koteshwar Rao, Vijayawada-Chennai (S11-32)
4) Raghavan, Bhopal-Chennai
5) Sandeep Agnihotri, New Delhi-Chennai
6) SS Verma (S11-22)
7) Veena, along with Baby Arshitha of 1year age, New Delhi-Chennai (S11-63)
8) Hussain, New Delhi-Chennai (S11-47)
9) Rekha, New Delhi-Chennai (S11-5)
10) Sukhdeep Singh (S11-59)
11) Sambasiva Rao
At Peoples Polyclinic, Nellore:
1) V Krushi, Vijayawada-Chennai (S11-27)
2) C Vijaya Kumar, Warangal-Chennai (S11-24)
At Jayabharath Hospital, Nellore:
1) S Prakash Singh, Jhansi-Chennai (S11-33)
2) Shoba Singh, Jhansi-Chennai (S11-36)
3) Ch Udaya bhaskar, Vijayawada-Chennai (S11-62)
4) G Ramchandra Srinivas, Warangal-Chennai (S11-67)
5) Kumud Kumar Bansal, Agra-Chennai (S11-16)
6) Prasamsa Bansal, Agra-Chennai (S11-13)
7) M Sujanmal Sarada Parekh, New Delhi-Chennai (S12-12)
At Bolineni Hospital, Nellore:
1) S Madanlal
2) Uttam Kumar
5) Sampath Kumar
List of passengers injured in the fire | Complete list of those travelling in S-11