Hyderabad, August 1 : The death toll in the Gautami Express fire accident that took place early this morning has risen to 32, including a pregnant woman.
Besides, eight passengers were injured in the incident, which happened early this morning near Mehboobabad in the Warangal District of Andhra Pradesh.
Among the dead, four, including the pregnant woman and three physically challenged persons, belonged to the West Godavari District.
The fire broke out in one of the sleeper coaches, S-9, of the moving train, proceeding from Secunderabad to Kakinada around 1:30 a.m. and soon spread to four other coaches, Railway sources said.
Appeared due to short circuit, the accident occurred when the train was running in a forest area between Tallapusalapalli and Mehboobabad stations, about 250 km from the state capital.
According to eyewitnesses, a cloud of smoke engulfed the affected coaches and some people jumped out of the train in that chaos. "The rescue teams from Secunderabad, Kazipet and Vijaywada were immediately rushed to the spot and burning coaches were detached from the train," South Central Railway officials said. The injured passengers were admitted to the Government Hospital in Warangal.
Many trains on Hyderabad and Vijaywada section were either cancelled or diverted after the mishap.
Union Minister of Railways Lalu Prasad Yadav expressed his profound grief at the tragedy and has announced an exgratia amount of Rs. five lakh for the next of kin of the deceased along with a job in the railways and Rs. one Lakh to the grievously injured.