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Train catches fire, one dead

July 19, 2005 13:58 IST

One person was charred to death in a massive fire that gutted the general compartment of Cheran Express on Tuesday morning, while over 100 other passengers had a miraculous escape due to alert railway staff.

The general compartment of train, which was coming from Chennai to the city, was totally gutted and the break van next to it was partially burnt in the blaze near Irugar about 15 km from Coimbatore, railway sources said.

The guard in the break van noticed heavy smoke emanating from the toilet and alerted the driver who immediately stopped the train, just before Irugur railway station, at 5.40 AM.

Both the driver and guard managed to detach the compartment and the break van before the fire spread and nearly 100 passengers rushed to safety, the sources said.

The charred body of a person was recovered from the toilet of the compartment, sources said quoting initial reports.

The cause of the fire was not known immediately, the sources said.

Senior railway and police officials rushed to the spot and an inquiry would be ordered into the incident, they said.

Though some passengers claimed that the person found dead committed suicide, leading to the fire, there was no confirmation.

The fire tenders immediately rushed to the spot from the city and nearby areas and put off the fire around 0645 IST, the sources said.

Due to the heat generated by the fire, nobody could go near to the gutted compartment for nearly one hour, they said.

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