Fire inside a parked train’s private compartment kills nine in southern India

NEW DELHI — A fire erupted inside a stationary train compartment at a railway station in southern India killing nine people on Saturday morning, officials said.

The blaze broke out early at 5 a.m. and burned for two hours before firefighters were able to put it out, authorities said.

It started inside a train's private compartment which was detached and parked on the railway tracks in the Madurai station, located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, according to a statement by the Southern Railway.

A gas cylinder smuggled in by some passengers caused the fire, the statement read, adding that police, fire and rescue officials helped pull out the bodies from the coach. There was no damage to other coaches.

Southern Railway did not divulge the number of people inside the compartment at the time of the fire but said many managed to get out.

Officials told the Press Trust of India news agency that 20 others were injured and taken to hospital.

Accidents are common on India’s railroad network, one of the world’s largest, with some 22 million passengers daily. Most collisions and fires are blamed on poor maintenance and human error.

In June, a deadly train collision killed over 290 people in one of India's worst train accidents.


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