Nine killed in Indian train coach fire

Accidents are common on India’s railroad network, one of the world’s largest

Fire crews try to extinguish a fire which broke out in a train coach parked at the Madurai railway yard, in Madurai on Saturday. AFP
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Nine people were killed on Saturday after a train coach in southern India caught fire when a passenger tried to make tea, officials said.

The coach, which had been detached from a train, was at the Madurai railway yard in the southern state of Tamil Nadu when the fire broke out.

“It was a single, stationary coach booked by a private tourist operator. Somebody tried to make tea and it caused the fire,” Madurai district spokesman Sali Thalapathi told AFP.

“Nine people have died, three of them are women. Nine others are injured, but their injuries are not life-threatening.”

None of the dead had been identified so far, he added.

Video showed huge flames leaping out of the windows of the carriage.

Local media reports said passengers had smuggled a gas cylinder aboard which exploded when they tried to use it.

India has one of the world's largest rail networks. It has suffered several disasters over the years, the worst in 1981 when a train derailed while crossing a bridge in Bihar state and plunged into a river below, killing 800 people.

In June, a three-train collision killed nearly 300 people in Odisha state.

Updated: August 26, 2023, 8:39 AM