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Fire on express train in India kills at least 26

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 28, 2013 at 9:41 a.m.

a-policeman-inspects-the-damage-inside-a-train-after-an-accident-at-kothacheruvu-about-96-miles-north-of-bangalore-india-saturday-dec-28-2013-a-fire-engulfed-two-coaches-of-an-express-train-in-southern-india-early-saturday-killing-at-least-two-dozens-many-of-whom-became-trapped-and-suffocated-after-the-doors-failed-to-open-officials-said-ap-photo

A policeman inspects the damage inside a train after an accident at Kothacheruvu, about 96 miles north of Bangalore, India, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013. A fire engulfed two coaches of an express train in southern India early Saturday, killing at least two dozens, many of whom became trapped and suffocated after the doors failed to open, officials said. (AP Photo)

KOTHACHERUVU — A fire engulfed a coach of an express train in southern India on Saturday, killing at least 26 passengers, many of whom became trapped and suffocated after the doors failed to open, officials said.

As the inferno and thick black smoke raced through the car about 3:45 a.m., panicked passengers broke the windows and many saved themselves by jumping from the train.

Sixty-seven passengers were in the carriage when the fire broke out about 1 mile from the small town of Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh state, said a spokesman for the railways, C.S. Gupta.

The train was brought to a halt and the burning coach was delinked from the rest of the cars to prevent the fire from spreading, Gupta said.

The fire spread to a second coach, but the blaze was put out before it caused much damage, Gupta said.

Firefighters put out the blaze and retrieved at least 26 bodies, including two children, said a railway official at the site of the fire. More than a dozen people were brought to hospitals with injuries sustained when they jumped from the coaches, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

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