July 30, 2012 / 11:04 AM / 5 years ago

Fire on express train kills 30 in Andhra Pradesh

1 Min Read

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A Chennai-bound express train caught fire on Monday in a pre-dawn accident in Andhra Pradesh, killing at least 30 passengers.

The fire broke out in a coach of the Tamil Nadu Express near Nellore, around 500 kilometers from Hyderabad, when most of the passengers were asleep.

A burnt carriage of a passenger train is pictured at the Nellore railway station, in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh July 30, 2012.Stringer

"As per reports, 30 people have died in the accident and 20 have been injured," Railway Minister Mukul Roy said at a press conference in Kolkata.

"We still do not know the cause, we do not know how the train caught fire."

The Indian Railways is a vital national transportation grid for the country's 1.2 billion people, cramming 18 million people a day on to ageing trains.

But decades of low investment, a patchy safety record and frequent delays mean India has fallen far behind China in building a network fit for Asia's third-largest economy.

Reporting by Annie Banerji; Writing by Tony Tharakan

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