28 Dec 2013

At least 23 die in train fire

9:45 pm on 28 December 2013

At least 23 people, including two children, have died after a fire broke out on a train in southern India, the BBC reports.

Rail officials said the blaze engulfed a carriage of the Nanded-Bangalore Express while it was travelling through Andhra Pradesh state. Police said many of the dead had been suffocated by thick black smoke filling the train.

The reason for the fire, which has been extinguished, has not been established. Officials said rescue operations were being hampered by thick fog and smog and the exact number of injured and missing people was uncertain.

More than 60 passengers are thought to have been on board the train when the fire broke out in an air-conditioned carriage.

Accidents are common on India's vast state-owned rail network, which operates 9000 passenger trains and carries about 18 million passengers every day, connecting every corner of the country.

Last year, 47 people were killed in a fire on a passenger train travelling in Andhra Pradesh.