Nellore: A major fire broke out in one of the bogies of New Delhi-Chennai Tamil Nadu Express near Nellore in Andhra Pradesh on Monday morning. Five people are said to have died in the incident and the toll is expected to rise.
The incident occurred at around 4:30 am when the Nellore station manager noticed the fire in one of the bogies of the train, officials said.
The train was immediately brought to a halt and the fire brigade was pressed into service and the blaze was extinguished, they said.
Helpline numbers at Nellore: 0861-2345863, 864, 865, 866 and 0866-2576924; At New Delhi Station: 011-23342954, 23341072, 23341074.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, however, it was suspected to be caused by a short circuit in the coach, they added.
CPRO of the South Central Railway Sambasiva Rao said that a special train would be leaving from Chennai to Nellore at 9.30 am. "It is too early to comment on the cause of fire. Rescue operations are on. Only one coach was affected in the fire. All the injured, numbering 25, have been admitted to a nearby hospital. A special train will leave from Chennai to Nellore at 9.30 am for rescue operations," he said.
The S-11 coach had around 72 passengers, said sources.
Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has directed the district administration to provide immediate medical relief to the injured.
Meanwhile, gas cutters are being used to cut through the coach and recover more bodies.
A help desk has been opened at the Chennai Central Station to give information on the fire. The phone numbers are 044-25357398 and 044-25330821.
The helpline numbers at Nellore are 0861-2345863, 864, 865, 866 and 0866-2576924; At Secunderabad: 040–27786723, 27700868, 27786539; At Warangal: 0870-2426232, 09701371063.
Meanwhile, the Northern Railway has opened helpline numbers 011-23342954, 23341072, 23341074 at New Delhi Station and 011-24359748 at Hazrat Nizamuddin Station.
Meanwhile, the Indian Railway has announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia relief to the relatives of the dead.
(With additional information from PTI)