Warangal/New Delhi, Aug 1 (UNI) At least 32 people were killed and eight others injured when a mysterious fire engulfed four coaches of Gautami Express Train, proceeding from Secunderabad to Kakinda, between Tallapusalapalli and Mahaboobabad in Warangal District, about 150 km from Hyderabad late last night.
The sudden inferno has puzzled the authorities probing the mishap. Railway Protection Force authorities said the way the accident occurred had created many doubts as it was impossible for it to occur in such a short time.
Warangal District SP V C Sajjanar did not rule out involvement of anti-social elements in the incident.
Railway Minister Lalu Prasad announced Rs five lakh ex-gratia for each of the next of kin of those killed and Rs one lakh to grievously injured while ordering a statutory inquiry into the incident.
He also announced that one of the family member of the victims who died in the accident would be provided a job in the Railways.
Railways chief Public Relations Officer P Krishnaiah told newspersons that the fire broke out in coach S-9 and spread to S 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the train.
The injured were shifted to MGM Hospital in Warangal Town where their condition was stated to be critical.
Alerted by the incident, the Railway authorities immediately rushed to the spot with rescue teams.
Four fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames and to prevent fire from spreading to other coaches, the rest of the bogies were separated from the affected ones.
The stranded passengers ... picking up from para 1, line 1 of DR 33 FIRE-AP-LEAD TRAIN TWO LAST HYDERABAD/NEW DELHI.
UNI AP GM SP AKJ KP2014