According to CPRO of the South Central Railway Sambasiva Rao, "It is too early to comment on the cause of fire. Rescue operations are on. Only one coach was affected in the fire. Nearly 25 people were injured. They have all been admitted to a nearby hospital. A special train will leave from Chennai to Nellore at 9.30 am for rescue operations."
The Indian Railway has announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia relief to the relatives of the dead. Andhra Pradesh CM Kiran Kumar Reddy has promised all help from the district administration. Railway Minister Mukul Roy and Chairman of the Railway Board are expected to visit the site of the mishap shortly.
UPDATE: Latest reports from local media suggest that the death toll could be anywhere between 35-40. A total of 72 people were there in the ill-fated S-11 coach. Fifteen women and four children are believed to be among those dead.
Breaking News: Twenty-five people have been reported dead when the Chennai-bound Tamil Nadu Express caught fire. Initial reports suggest that a short circuit in one of the coaches might have caused the fire. Relief and rescue operations are underway. The incident is understood to have happened around 4:20 am.
As per reports the fire was first noticed by the deputy station master when the train was passing by the Nellore station in Hyderabad around 4:28 am. The station master immediately raised an alarm over the fire in the S-11 sleeper coach and brought the train to a halt.
The coach on fire was promptly detached from the others in order to prevent the spreading of fire. Additional DG, Railways has confirmed the death of 25 people with the number of casualties likely to see an increase. Nellore District Collector Sridhar stated that the mishap might have been caused due to a short circuit.
Many others have been injured in the early morning incident and have been rushed to the Nellore civic hospital.
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