Gulbarga (Karnataka)/New Delhi, Oct 16: Two people — a woman and a child — were burnt alive and seven others injured when a passenger train coach caught fire Tuesday at Gulbarga station, railway officials said.
“The victims were in the general coach of the 57660 Hyderabad-Gulbarga passenger train, which arrived at 12.50 p.m. The fire occurred around 1.35 p.m. when the train was stationed on platform number three, as it was to depart at 4.10 p.m. as 57128 Gulbarga-Solapur passenger train,” Central Railway’s Solapur division railway manager A.K. Prasad told IANS.
The seven injured have been admitted to a state-run hospital in Gulbarga city, 590 km from Bangalore.
“We will hold an inquiry to find out the cause of the fire which engulfed the ill-fated coach within minutes. Luckily, there were only a few passengers in the coach as many disembarked before it caught fire,” Prasad said.
In Delhi, railway ministry spokesman Anil Saxena told IANS that “two people have died and six have been injured in the incident”.
The burning coach was detached from 12 other bogies and the fire brigade was summoned to douse the inferno.
According to passenger Naseema Begum who jumped out of the coach, some of the passengers seated in the coach were carrying a kerosene can with them.
“Kerosene might have spilled over from the can and caught fire when somebody lit a cigarette,” Begaum told reporters at the platform, though smoking is strictly banned in railway premises.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa, who hails from Karnataka, expressed shock over the incident and announced that compensation would be given to the kin of the deceased.
“It is shocking that a stationed coach caught fire. Normally, a stationed train does not catch fire. Compensation will be given to the kin of the deceased,” Muniyappa told reporters in Bangalore, when asked for his reaction on the mishap.