32 die as Tamil Nadu Express catches fire
Hyderabad/Chennai, July 30 (IANS): In one of India’s most horrific train tragedies, 32 people were killed when a second class coach of the Chennai-bound Tamil Nadu Express caught fire early Monday in Andhra Pradesh. A mobile camera footage showed leaping flames engulfing the S-11 coach even as the train continued to run, triggering panic among the passengers, with many desperately trying to escape. Some among the 70-80 in the coach succeeded by jumping from one of the doors. Those trapped at the other end of the coach where the doors did not open perished in the most gruesome manner.
A Railway Board official in New Delhi late in the evening put the number of dead at 32 and the injured at 25, revising earlier statistics that said 35 people were killed. The tragedy took place near Nellore, about 450 km from Hyderabad. The railways announced Rs.5 lakh compensation each to the families of the dead and Rs.1 lakh for the critically injured. The train had left New Delhi 10.30 p.m. Saturday and was to reach Chennai at 7.15 a.m. Monday. The train covers 2,181 km.
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