Mumbai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 47 people have died in the fire that broke out this morning
on the Tamil Nadu
Express passenger train traveling from New Delhi
to Chennai (Tamil Nadu). The flames
flared up when the vehicle was at the
station in Nellore in Andhra Pradesh.
The cause of the
fire is still uncertain, but it
was probably caused by a technical problem and not an intentional incident.
So far, rescue units have already transferred 28 injured to local hospitals. During the day the toll could rise, because the affected
carriage was carrying 72 passengers.
According to preliminary reports, the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit in the early hours of the morning, maybe around 4:20 (local time). As the flames quickly spread, most of the passengers slept.
The railway authorities have already announced a compensation of 500 thousand rupees (about 7,300 Euros) for the families of victims; 100 thousand rupees (about 1,400 Euros) for the seriously injured, 25 thousand rupees (about 370 Euros) for minor injuries.
The Indian Railways is the national rail network and is the fourth largest in the world after the United States, Russia and China. 114,500 km long, covering a circuit of 65 thousand km, it connects every corner of the country and carries more than 18 million passengers a day. Over the past five years, at least 1,220 people have died in train accidents.