Tamil Nadu: 8 killed, 20 injured as train catches fire in Madurai
The Southern Railway said the fire was triggered after some passengers in a 'private party coach' tried to cook food using a gas cylinder
At least 8 persons died in a fire that broke out inside a stationary train compartment in Madurai railway station in the wee hours of Saturday (August 26), with the Southern Railway saying an "illegal gas cylinder" led to the blaze.
The passengers of the "private party coach" had arrived from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.
Madurai district collector MS Sangeetha, who rushed to the station to enquire, said 8 persons were killed in the fire accident in the train compartment. 20 others with injuries have been admitted to a hospital for treatment. Police, fire and rescue services personnel besides railway staff, involved in dousing the fire, extricated the charred bodies from the compartment. The fire broke out at 5.15 am on Saturday (August 26) and the fire service personnel who arrived at the spot half an hour later put down the blaze by 7.15 am, a Southern Railway release said.
"This is a private party coach that was attached at Nagercoil Junction yesterday (August 25) by train no. 16730 (Punalur-Madurai Exp). The party coach was detached and kept at the Madurai stabling line. The passengers in the private party coach have illegally smuggled a gas cylinder and this has caused the fire. Many passengers had got out of the coach on noticing the fire. Some passengers had got down at the platform itself," the release said.
"The party coach had started the journey from Lucknow on August 17. They are scheduled to return to Chennai tomorrow... and return to Lucknow from there," it added. Among the scattered items that lay on the accident spot included a cylinder and a bag of potatoes, indicating there were attempts to cook food.
Any individual can book a party coach using the IRCTC portal. They are not allowed to carry any inflammable material like a gas cylinder. The coach is to be used only for transportation purposes, the release said, adding that senior officials were rushing to the spot.
(With agency inputs)