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Train fire: Authorities struggle to identify charred victims

Last updated on: July 30, 2012 17:31 IST

Several hours after a devastating fire in S-11 coach of Tamil Nadu Express in the wee hours of Monday claimed several lives, authorities are yet to confirm the exact death toll. While they have the records of passengers traveling with reservations, they don't know the number of people who were traveling in the coach without reservations.

Authorities have pegged the death toll at 32 but the toll may go up. 

According to reports, 17 passengers with general tickets got onto the ill-fated train at Vijayawada station. Since they don't have reservations, authorities have not been able to identify them.

Some of these bodies have been charred beyond recognition. Authorities are hopeful that family members will come forward to identify the victims.

Railway minister Mukul Roy has not yet ruled out the possibility of sabotage. But according to sources involved in the probe, the fire was caused by a short circuit.

Nellore, where the fire broke out, is considered to be a peaceful area and there were no intelligence inputs about such a sabotage.

A final report on the tragedy is expected in a couple of days.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has already visited the spot.

Vicky Nanjappa