Kotha Cheruvu Halt, Guntakal Division, S.C.Railway: The AC coach (B1) of Nanded bound Bangalore-Nanded Express (No.16594) caught fire near Kotha Cheruvu Halt Railway station today morning at 03.20 hrs. The Nanded Express crossed Puttaparthi Railway Station at 03.15 Hrs.
As many as 25 reserved passengers are found dead in the incident. It was reportedly learnt that children and a pregnant women were also burnt alive in the fire accident.
Many passengers tried to break open the glass panes, but failed to do so as there was no hammer placed in the AC coach, which resulted to more number of death toll. Few passengers were able to pull the chain of the train and bring the train to halt.
It is learnt that many passenger who survived in the incident reported to have burns ranging between 55-80% and are admitted in the hospital. Death toll was more due to the spring doors inside the AC coach were blocked and could not be opened by the passengers to reach the main door, leading to passengers collapsing inside. The bodies were burnt beyond recognition, eye witness told.
South Western Railway Helpline issued Helpline Numbers as under:
Puttparthi Railway Station:08555 280125,
Bangalore: 080-22259271, 22156554, 22354108
Hyderabad helpline number: 040-23310680
Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital, Puttaparthi and Bangalore came forward to extend medical relief to the injured passengers.
Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Mr.Kiran Kumar Reddy expressed deep sympathy to the family members of the bereaved. MOSR Kotla Jaya Surya Prakash Reddy rushed to the spot at 5.00 a.m. immediately after hearing the news.