The mishap took place at Kothacheruvu railway station in Anantapur district bordering Karnataka, officials said.
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The fire broke out in the D1 AC coach and spread to the adjoining coach. Fire engines and ambulances were rushed to the spot.
According to witnesses, rescue workers retrieved eight bodies. The injured were shifted to Dharmavaram, Puttaparthi and Anantapur hospitals. As many as 57 passengers were travelling in D1 coach and majority of them were believed to be from Karnataka.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet blockquote" lang="en"><p>Nanded-Banglore express fire claims 26 lives. My condolences to the families of deceased. So many accidents this year, sad & shocking.</p>— N Chandrababu Naidu (@ncbn) <a href="https://twitter.com/ncbn/statuses/416802696113311744">December 28, 2013</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Many passengers got down after pulling the chain. Short circuit is believed to have led to the fire.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed shock and grief over the loss of lives in the Andhra train accident.