Probe begins into Andhra train disaster

Hyderabad, Dec 29 : The railways have begun a probe into Saturday's train disaster which killed 26 passengers in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district.

Arunendra Kumar, chairman of the Railway Board who heads the inquiry, Sunday inspected the gutted coach of the Bangalore-Nanded Express at the railway station at Puttaparthi.

He along with other railway officials also visited the accident site near the Kothacheruvu railway station.

As many 26 passengers, including 12 women and two children, were burnt to death early Saturday when an air-conditioned coach of the Bangalore-Nanded Express caught fire.

Officials said out of 65 passengers in the AC-3-tier B-1 coach, 39 escaped with injuries and 15 were admitted to hospitals at Anantapur and Puttaparthi towns.

Police and railway officials suspect that short circuiting in the air conditioned unit led to the blaze.

Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge, who visited the disaster site Saturday, announced that the chairman of the Railway Board would head the inquiry.

Forensic experts and electrical engineers also inspected the gutted coach to gather clues.

Meanwhile, railway authorities have identified 15 bodies and six of them were handed over to their families. All the bodies were shifted to Bangalore.

As the bodies were charred beyond recognition, the forensic experts are conducting DNA tests to identify them.

The bodies of two victims were brought to Adoni in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. The were identified as Basvarju and his father Sarvamangala, both teachers.

--IANS (Posted on 29-12-2013)

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