10 People Killed, Several Injured As Bharat Gaurav Train Catches Fire Near Tamil Nadu’s Madurai

Police, fire and rescue services personnel besides railway staff, involved in dousing the fire, extricated the charred bodies from the compartment Bharat Gaurav Tourist train.

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At least 10 people were killed in a fire that broke out inside a stationary train compartment in Madurai railway station in the wee hours of Saturday.

The reports said a fire broke in the Bharat Gaurav tourist train, which was enroute from Lucknow to Rameswaram.

As per the reports the train came to a halt around 1 km away from Madurai railway station. 

PTI quoting Southern Railway officials said an "illegal gas cylinder" led to the blaze.

The reports said preliminary investigation suggests that the fire originated due to cooking activities involving a gas cylinder by devotees aboard the train.

The flames that started in one compartment, quickly spread to adjacent ones, the reports said.

The blaze caused chaos on the train with passengers trying to evacuate the coaches, the reports said.

PTI report quoting Southern Railway officials said ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh announced to family of deceased.

The report quoting Madurai district collector M S 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, it said.

The fire broke out at 5.15 am on Saturday 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 (Aug 25) by train no. 16730 (Punalur-Madurai Exp). Party coach was detached and kept at Madurai Stabling line. The passengers in the private party coach have illegally smuggled gas cylinder and this has caused the fire. Many passengers had got out of the coach on noticing fire. Some passengers had got down at 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. 

Several reports said that a total of six passengers from Uttar Pradesh have been confirmed dead at this point.

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 party coach using IRCTC portal. They are not allowed to carry any inflammable material like gas cylinder. The coach is to used only for transportation purpose, the release said, adding senior officials were rushing to the spot.

(This is a developing story. More details will be updated.)