At least seven people including two children were charred to death when two AC coaches of the Howrah-Dehradun express train caught fire early Tuesday in Giridih district of Jharkhand, police said.
"Seven people, including two children, died after two coaches of the Howrah-Dehradun express caught fire. Four bodies have been identified. The fire has been extinguished," D. Parwa Lakra, deputy commissioner of Giridih, told IANS over telephone.
The incident took place between Nimiyaghat and Parasnath railway stations. Two AC coaches caught fire around 2.30 a.m. A blast in a gas cylinder of one of the coaches is said to be the reason behind the incident.
AC coach number B1 caught fire first which spread into the second AC bogey B2. Both coaches were badly burnt. High rising flames could be seen.
"The AC of the coach was switched off and someone switched on the heater. We started feeling suffocated. We informed the TT about it. But no timely action was taken," a passenger travelling in the train told news channels.
Train services have been partially affected. Some of the routes have been diverted.
Authorities have issued a few helpline numbers -- Dhanbad: 0326-2220518, Hajipur: 06224-273293