10 die, 20 injured as fire engulfs a train’s coach at Madurai station

An LPG cylinder is said to have blasted in a coach booked by a group of 63 tourists from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh for pilgrimage purpose to the South India

Madurai train fire

Madurai (Tamil Nadu): At least 10 persons were charred to death and 20 others injured when fire broke out inside a privately booked coach of a train brought to Madurai railway station by 16730 Punalur–Madurai express in the wee hour of Saturday.

Southern Railway officials said that a LPG cylinder is suspected to behind the fire. “LPG cylinder is strictly prohibited inside the coach but the group of pilgrims from Uttar Pradesh, who had booked the coach, managed to get inside in. The cylinder exploded when someone was making tea on a gas stove,” an official said.

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The Indian railways have has announced an ex-gratia of ₹10 lakh for the kin of the deceased. Madurai district collector MS Sangeetha said, “Today early morning at 5:30 am there was a fire accident in the coach which was halted here at Madurai railway station…They were pilgrims and were travelling from Uttar Pradesh.”

He further said that “The cylinder got exploded when someone tried to light the gas stove to make tea or coffee. As many as 55 people have been rescued and we have retrieved nine bodies…Rescue operation is underway…,” she told reporters.

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A group of 63 tourists from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh had booked the coach for pilgrimage purpose in the South India. The coach was detached with the train and put in a yard, when the accident took place. Anyone can book a train or a coach for certain cost by the IRCTC website for special purposes. However, the passengers are not allowed to carry any inflammable material like gas cylinders. The coach is to be used only for transportation purposes, said an official.

The pilgrims’ coach was scheduled to return to Chennai tomorrow by train number 16824, the Kollam-Chennai Egmore Ananthapuri Express, and then return to Lucknow from there.

Meanwhile, the Southern Railway has also issued helpline numbers: 9360552608, and 8015681915 to share the information related to the fire incident and causalities.

What caused Tamil Nadu train fire mishap?

The Southern Railway said that the fire was triggered by an “illegally smuggled gas cylinder”. In an official statement, Southern Railways Chief Public Relations Officer B Guganesan the fire broke out at 5. 15 am in a private party coach at the Madurai yard and the blaze was put out by 7.15 am.

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Railways stated that the passengers in the private party coach had illegally smuggled gas cylinders and this caused the fire. “Many passengers had got out of the coach on noticing the fire. Some passengers had got down at platform itself,” the Railways said in a press release.

“The party coach had started their journey fro.m Lucknow on 17th August. They are scheduled to return to Chennai tomorrow by Tino. 16824 Kollam Chennai Egmore Ananthapuri express. And return to Lucknow from there.


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