Mumbai: Nine people have died as a fire broke out on the Dehradun Express around 2.30 am on Wednesday morning. The fire was contained to three coaches, which caught fire near Dahanu Road station in Thane when the train was on its way from Bandra to Dehradun.
The Railway authorities say the casualties were due to asphyxiation. The fire has now been doused and the train is on its way to Dehradun.
The cause of the fire is still unknown. Railway sources said short circuit cannot be ruled out as burnt cables were found lying under the electric board of S-3 coach.
The Railways have announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of those dead. "The casualties are unlikely to rise because all checks have been done. We don't know the cause of the fire as yet. The Railway Minister has ordered an inquiry and has announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to families of the dead, Rs 1 lakh to those seriously injured and Rs 50,000 to the ones who have suffered minor injuries," said Railway Board Chairperson Arunendra Kumar.
Among the nine dead, one is a woman and four are men while the rest were yet to be identified, said Western Railway PRO Sharat Chandra. Chandra said, "All the passengers have been evacuated. They have been shifted to the front bogies of the train, which left for Dehradun at 5 am."
But the bogies that caught fire are still at the spot. Authorities say efforts are on to cool the embers and a team from Gujarat is also present at the spot. An inquiry will begin into the cause of the fire.
The affected coaches were S-2 S-3 and S-4. The maximum numbers of passengers were in S-4 (64) followed by 54 in S-2 and three in S-3.
This tragedy coming barely a week after 26 people were killed in a fire on the Bangalore-Nanded Express.
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(With additional information from PTI)