At least 23 people were killed when an AC coach of the Bangalore-Nanded express caught fire in the early hours of Saturday.
The fire broke out in B1 air-conditioned compartment around 3:15 a.m. on Saturday, when the train was near the Prasanthi Nilayam ashram in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. The train was on its way from Bangalore to Nanded in Maharashtra.
As many as 23 people were killed in the incident, while 12 others have been injured. "There is a possibility that the number of the casualties may go up a little more," Additional Divisional Railway Manager Sunanda Arun told NDTV.
The passenger list onboard the train has been burnt and it has become difficult to identify the bodies. Some of the bodies have been charred beyond recognition and a DNA test is expected to be conducted to identify the victims.
The injured have been taken to government hospitals in Penugonda and Dharmavaram.
According to The Times of India report, there were 57 passengers onboard, when the fire broke out and the flames engulfed the compartment. Many of the passengers managed to pull the safety chain and jumped out of the train. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
Fire tenders have reached the spot to douse the fire and bring the situation under control. The state government and the railways department are undertaking massive rescue operations at the site of the incident. Officials are trying to move the standard passengers to Puttaparthi.
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Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and Railway Minister Mallikaarjun Kharge have expressed shock over the incident and sent their condolence messages to the family members of the victims. Kharge has ordered an inquiry into the fire accident. He has also announced ₹5 lakh each for the families of the victims who lost their lives in the incident. The injured will also be given compensation, according to ANI.