Train fire leaves nine dead in India, says local official

 A train in India caught fire after an explosion on Saturday and left nine people dead, while 55 people had been rescued, according to local officials and media reports.

A local district official told Indian network ANI that the blast and fire occurred due to a gas cylinder brought on board by passengers when they tried to turn it on to make coffee in the morning.

“Some 55 passengers plus eight helpers have been travelling (in the train) it seems and today morning when they tried to make coffee for them (themselves) and lighted the stove, there was a blast of the cylinder it seems and due to this there was a causality and others were rescued, some 55 people were rescued and as of now we have retrieved nine bodies from inside the coach,”  Madurai District Collector M.S Sangeetha said.

A rescued passenger said they were trapped in the train coach until someone broke the windows.

“As the fire broke out, we stood up and ran, but doors and windows were closed. We could not find the keys and later a tool was found by someone who then broke the door. From that door, those who could get out exited, and those who couldn’t get out were trapped. Materials and belongings were left behind,” he said.

The train was carrying pilgrims in India’s southern Tamil Nadu, according to reports. The rescued passengers were sent to the nearby Rajaji Railway Hospital, reported ANI.