Alka Prajapati, from Uttar Pradesh, was sleeping in a carriage of her ill-fated private train when she heard shouts of ‘Fire, fire’.
She instinctively rushes in a safe direction, only to find that the train doors are locked. Thankfully, a bigger tragedy could have been averted as someone pried the locks open and let the panicked passengers out. “We were asleep when we heard the screams, so we tried to escape. The door was locked, so we couldn’t escape right away. There was so much smoke, I couldn’t breathe properly and I just took the name of God,” she told PTI at the hospital where she was being treated. After 15 to 20 minutes, railway personnel arrived at the scene and tried their best to extinguish the fire. “But[the coach]was on fire,” she said, still recovering from the shock. Some survivors who spoke to the media said they were on their way to Rameswaram.
READ | Tamil Nadu: 10 dead, 20 injured in train fire at Madurai station
Another passenger, Binod Kumar, said he “fleeed for his life” after being awakened by a sudden scream after the fire. A moving scene at the scene shows a woman crying, presumably at the loss of her loved one, while a child recollects the tense moment before fleeing to safety. Local eyewitness and car driver Mannan Prakash said that people in the vicinity rushed to the crash site as soon as they heard the “sound”, but were unable to get close because of the fire. “Some people got stuck in the car. It was a sleeper so they couldn’t get out (quickly),” he said.
Photo | At least 10 killed in Madurai train fire, UP CM announces condolence money ₹$200,000 to relatives of the deceased
The fire broke out at 5:15 a.m. Saturday and was extinguished by 7:15 a.m. after firefighters arrived on the scene half an hour later. “This is a private party coach that was joined yesterday (25th August) at Nagercoil Junction by train number 16730 (Punaruru-Madurai Express). A passenger on a private party coach was in that condition.” …gas cylinders were smuggled and this caused the fire,” Southern said. The party coach was due to start the journey from Lucknow on August 17 and return to Chennai on Sunday, from where it was due to head to the capital UP, he added. “While the bus was stabled/parked, some members of the private party vehicle were using illegally smuggled cooking gas cylinders without permission for the preparation of tea/snacks, which resulted in A fire broke out inside the bus, and most of the passengers could be at risk: “If you notice a fire, get out of the vehicle. Before the vehicle could be separated, some passengers had already gotten off the platform.” I was there,” he added. Civilian groups illegally brought in gas cylinders, stoves and other combustibles, which they said “caused an unusual fire incident.” Among the items found at the scene were LPG cylinders, potato sacks, broken utensils, and wooden logs, with ample evidence of attempted food preparation.
At least nine pilgrims en route to Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu met a tragic end early Saturday morning after a fire broke out inside a train carriage at the railway station, Southern Railway said. .