A pregnant woman and three physically challenged persons were among at least 30 people killed in a fire that broke out in a running train in Warangal district in Andhra Pradesh in the early hours of Friday.
The fire broke out in a sleeper coach of Gautami Express heading for the port city of Kakinada from Secunderabad, and spread to four other coaches.
“Preliminary investigations suggest that the fire was due to a short circuit in the S-9 bogie,” said a spokesperson for South Central Railway. “We will hold a thorough inquiry, but that will take some time.”
Most of the passengers were asleep when the fire broke out around 1.30 am as the train was passing through a forest between Tallapusalapalli and Mahbubabad railway stations.
“The passengers pulled the chain to stop the train immediately and people started jumping out of the train,” Warangal police chief V.C. Sajjanar said, quoting eyewitnesses.
Alert train staff separated the engine and eight other bogies from the coaches that had caught fire. This prevented the fire from spreading.