New Delhi, Aug 26: Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday condoled the death of nine people in the tragic Tamil Nadu train fire, and wished for the recovery of the injured.
At least nine people were killed and 20 others injured on Saturday after a fire erupted inside the coach of a passenger train at the Madurai railway station in Tamil Nadu.
In a tweet, Kharge said, "The news of death of many passengers due to fire in Lucknow-Rameshwaram train is very sad. Our deepest sympathies to the bereaved families of the victims. We wish for the speedy recovery of the injured. Congress workers are requested to provide all possible help."
In a Facebook post in Hindi, Rahul Gandhi said, "The news of death of many passengers due to fire in Lucknow-Rameshwaram train is very sad. I express my deepest condolences to the bereaved family members. I hope those who got injured in this accident get better treatment and get well soon."
Party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi said, "Received the sad news of death of many passengers due to fire in Lucknow-Rameshwaram train. My deepest condolences to all the bereaved families. May God give them courage in this hour of grief. I pray that the injured get speedy recovery."
According to Railways, the incident occurred in the Lucknow-Rameswaram Express train in the wee hours of Saturday.
The six victims from Uttar Pradesh were on a pilgrimage tour to Rameswaram, the sources added. There were a total of 55 passengers in the affected coach, which was attached at Nagercoil on Friday.
Southern Railway CPRO B. Guganesan said that fire was reported in private party coach in Madurai yard at 5.15 a.m. by station official. Fire service was immediately informed and they arrived at 5.45 a.m. and the fire was doused at 7.15 a.m.
He said that the private coach in which fire incident was reported was attached at Nagercoil Junction on Friday by Punalur-Madurai Express, which arrived in Madurai at 3.47 a.m. Party coach was detached and kept at Madurai Stabling line, he said.
He further said that the passengers in the private party coach had "illegally smuggled gas cylinder" and that caused the fire.
He also said that the party coach had started their journey from Lucknow on August 17 and they are scheduled to return to Chennai on Sunday by Kollam-Chennai Egmore Ananthapuri Express. And return to Lucknow from there.
He further said that any individual can book party coach using IRCTC portal. They are not allowed to carry any inflammable material like gas cylinder as the coach is to be used only for transportation purpose.
Meanwhile, Railways has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of the victims.