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Burning train kills sleeping passengers

india Updated: Aug 01, 2008 15:40 IST
Burning train kills sleeping passengers

Charred bogies, heaps of skulls and bones and grieving passengers tell the story of the fire tragedy that struck the sleeping passengers of Gouthami Express in the wee hours on Friday.

The enormity of the tragedy was reflected in the badly-mangled coaches of the Secunderabad-Kakinada train which turned into a moving inferno following the fire.

Such was the impact of the fire that many bodies were charred beyond recognition. Among the dead were several physically-challenged persons who could not escape in time.

The passengers got a rude shock at night when the fire was first noticed in the S-9 sleeper coach by railway personnel.

The train had just left Kesamudram station and it was 1.15 am when the passengers woke up to the smell of smoke amid cries for help.

The fire soon spread to four more coaches as the train was going at a speed of around 100 km per hour.

"There was a scramble to escape. The exit door was locked and it was not opening. There was a large plume of smoke. It was so terrible that my throat was choked," a woman passenger said.