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Many dead in India train fire: official

30 july 2012, 14:59
At least five people were killed when a train caught fire in southern India on Monday, the railways ministry said, adding the toll was likely to rise with some reports already putting it at 25, AFP reports.

"So far we have five confirmed dead, but we fear the number will go up significantly," railways ministry spokeswoman Chandralekha Mukherjee told AFP. "Rescuers are struggling to get inside the train to extricate people."

The accident, on a long-distance train heading from New Delhi to the southern city of Chennai, occurred in the early hours of the morning near the town of Nellore in Andhra Pradesh state.

"We are unable to identify the cause of the fire yet -- it might have been a short circuit, it might have been due to someone carrying inflammable materials on the train," Mukherjee told AFP.

NDTV television, citing a local railways official, reported that 25 people had died with an unspecified number of other passengers injured. It said the the cause was most likely to be an electrical short circuit.

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