Bodies of 9 pilgrims killed in Tamil Nadu train fire tragedy arrive in Lucknow
Lucknow, Aug 27 (PTI) A day after nine pilgrims lost their lives in a fire tragedy inside a stationary train compartment at Madurai railway station, their bodies arrived here from Chennai on Sunday and were sent to respective districts, officials said.
Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak reached the the Chowdhury Charan Singh airport here to receive the bodies of Manoharman Agarwal (81) and her granddaughter Himani Bansal (22), who hailed from Lucknow.
The duo's bodies were cremated at the Gulala Ghat here, Manoharman's son Manoj Agarwal told PTI.
Pathak expressed condolence over the death of the nine persons, all of whom hailed from Uttar Pradesh, in the incident at Tamil Nadu's Madurai railway yard on August 26.
"The state government is providing all possible assistance to the families," the deputy chief minister told PTI.
The nine deceased, bound for Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, had last week embarked from Lucknow on the pilgrimage with several others in a private party coach booked by their tour operator, they added.
Sita Singh, a part of the pilgrimage group and a resident of Gomti Nagar here, returned safely on a Lucknow-bound flight on Sunday.
Her son Mohit Singh, who came to receive his mother at the airport said the family was worried as they were initially unable to reach out to her over the phone after the incident.
"We were relieved when we could finally speak to her and now she has safely arrived here," Singh said.
The bodies of the nine deceased arrived at the airport here on two different flights, Relief Commissioner Naveen Kumar said.
District-wise hearse vehicles were arranged at the airport by the government and the bodies were transported to their respective districts, Kumar added.
Apart from the duo from Lucknow, Shanti Devi (67) from Lakhimpur Kheri, Parmeshwar Dayal Gupta (57) from Hardoi, and Mithilesh Kumar (52), Shatru Daman Singh (65), Harish Kumar Bhasin (60), Ankul Kashyap (32) and Deepak Kashyap (20) from Sitapur died in the fire tragedy, officials said.
The Southern Railway said a gas cylinder "illegally" taken inside the coach led to the blaze, which also injured eight persons.
Various angles, including a possible gas leak, having triggered the blaze are being probed, it said.
Bhasin, who too lost his life in the fire, has been identified as the tour operator for this pilgrimage, officials here said on Sunday.
On Saturday, the Government Railway Police (GRP) had filed a case against the "tour operator" but did not identify him.
Following the incident, the Uttar Pradesh government released Rs 3 lakh each to the kin of four deceased persons on Saturday and the details of legal heirs are being verified for giving financial aid to the remaining five, officials said.