At least 47 people were killed when a fire engulfed a carriage on a moving train in southern India today, officials said.
Most of the passengers were asleep when the fire broke out at about 4am local time on the overnight train from New Delhi to the south-eastern city of Chennai, said local official B Sridhar.
A station worker noticed the burning coach on the train as it passed through the town of Nellore, nearly 310 miles (500km) south of Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh state, Mr Sridhar said.
Once the alarm was raised, the train was stopped and the passenger car detached from the rest of the train to prevent the blaze from spreading. Passengers were evacuated once the train was halted.
“Since the fire had engulfed one door of the coach, people had to rush to the other end of the coach to exit,” Mr Sridhar told the Associated Press by telephone, speaking from the accident site.
He said the fire may have been caused by an electrical short circuit in the coach.
The blaze killed 47 people, said regional railway manager Anil Kumar.
At least 28 other passengers were taken to hospital suffering from burns, Mr Sridhar said, adding that at least two of the injured were in a critical condition.