Nine people were confirmed dead after a fire broke out in three general coaches of Mumbai-Dehradun Express (Bandra-Dehradun Express), north of Dahanu Road station in Thane district at around 2.30am Wednesday. Senior Railway officers rushed to the spot.
Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of those killed in the train mishap. The minister also ordered inquiry into the train mishap.
Of the nine, five bodies have been identified. Four dead were men and one woman, who were reported to have died due to asphyxiation, said Shailendra Kumar, divisional railway manager, Western Railway. The other bodies were charred beyond recognition, said the officer. Rescue work is underway, he added.
The train has been taken to Gholvad station for rescue work.
Officers said fire had been brought under control, however smoke inside the coaches made rescue work difficult.
Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, Western Railway said, "The guard noticed the fire and applied emergency brakes. The three coaches were isolated to prevent the fire from spreading. Rescue work is still underway."
Train 19019 from Bandra Terminus to Dehradun left Mumbai at 00.05 am Wednesday.
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The accident comes within days of the Bangalore train tragedy where twenty six people, including two children, were killed and 12 injured when a fire broke out in the AC 3-tier B-1 coach of the Bangalore-Nanded Express train at Kothacheruvu near Puttaparthi.
The railway ministry on Wednesday promised about Rs 5 lakh in compensation to the families of those killed aboard the Mumbai-Dehradun Express.