Ten people were killed and over 20 were injured after a fire broke out in a tourist train parked on Bodi Lane near Madurai railway station in the wee hours of Saturday, reported news agency PTI. Bodies have been shifted to the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai and rescue operation is underway, according to the report. The fire broke out when a passenger lit a gas stove to make coffee, police said.
“Around 5:30 am today, there was fire in a coach halted here at Madurai railway station. There were pilgrims travelling from Uttar Pradesh in it. When they lit the gas stove to make coffee, the gas cylinder blasted. As of now, we have retrieved nine bodies,” PTI quoted Madurai District Collector MS Sangeetha as saying.
B.Guganesan, Chief Public Relations Officer, Southern Railway said in a statement that the passengers in the private party coach had illegally smuggled a gas cylinder which caused the fire. The official said that the coach was attached at Nagercoil Junction on Friday by Punalur -Madurai Express and was detached after arriving at Madurai.
“This is a private party coach that was attached at Nagercoil Junction yesterday (Aug 25) by train no. 16730 (Punalur-Madurai Exp). Party coach was detached and kept at Madurai Stabling line. The passengers in the private party coach have illegally smuggled gas cylinder and this has caused the fire. Many passengers had got out of the coach on noticing fire. Some passengers had got down at platform itself,” the release said.