Railway police and forensic experts launched a probe on Wednesday to ascertain the cause of the fire that engulfed two AC coaches of the Howrah-Dehradun Express on Tuesday. Seven passengers, including an Australian woman, were killed in the mishap. One of them is yet to be identified.
While police questioned the driver, co-driver and guard, forensic experts collected samples. "The cause of fire, pattern of spreading and other details have to be looked into," said forensic expert AK Sinha.
Superintendent of police AV Homkar said preliminary investigations had revealed someone had turned the heater on. "Fire from a short circuit burnt the heated coach quickly."
Meanwhile, the three Australian survivors Naomi Cappelli, Proywyn Smithie and MS Rose met at the Dhanbad station for the first time after the tragedy. "The loss of our friend (Kate Scanlan) can never be made up," said Smithie. Mortal remains of Scanlan are at the Patna Medical College Hospital. The decision on the last rites will be taken by the Australian embassy.