UK & World News
India: Trapped Passengers Killed In Train Fire
A fire has engulfed two coaches on an express train in southern India, leaving at least 23 people dead.
Many of those who died became trapped and suffocated inside the carriages after the doors failed to open, officials said.
As the fire and thick black smoke filled the two cars, panicked passengers broke the windows and jumped from the train.
A spokesman for the railways, CS Gupta, said 67 passengers were in the two cars when the fire broke out on Saturday around a mile from the town of Puttaparthi, in Andhra Pradesh state.
He said the train was stopped and the two coaches were separated from the rest of the train to prevent the fire spreading.
Firefighters put out the blaze and retrieved at least 23 bodies, including two children.
More than a dozen people were brought to hospitals with injuries sustained when they jumped from the coaches.
Rescue teams had to force the doors open to reach those trapped inside. Many bodies were found near the jammed doors, officials said.
The train was travelling from Bangalore to Nanded in the western state of Maharashtra.
India's federal Railways minister Mallikarjun Kharge said that preliminary reports from the site indicated that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit. An investigation has begun.
More than 18.5 million passengers travel every day on India's vast railway network of about 10,000 passenger trains.
Accidents are common. Most collisions and fires are mostly blamed on poor maintenance and human error.
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