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Historic Railway Disasters
17 Feb 99

India: 80 injured as train explodes in flames

India, 15 February 1999: The number of people injured in a fire on a Guntakal to Bangalore train is now put at 80.

According to reports in the Indian press, 80 people including a child of eight suffered burns when the first coach of a train caught fire amid a series of explosions. At least two of the injured are said to be in a serious condition.

It was 2310, as the train approached Bhadravati railway station when smoke was noticed coming from the first coach behind the diesel locomotive. The driver stopped the train and detached the locomotive. His prompt action may have helped to prevent more serious consequences. Eyewitnesses stated that there were 3 explosions as flames engulfed the coach. Station staff assisted in evacuating all the passengers.

An accident investigation has begun and will concentrate on reports that a gas cylinder was being carried in a compartment, possibly the toilet of the coach. There is another suggestion that a kerosene stove was being used for cooking and that this had caught fire and exploded.

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