As part of their inquiry into the Tamil Nadu Express fire, the 13-member Railway Safety Commission headed by its chairman Dinesh Kumar Singh on Friday recorded the statements of six injured passengers who are undergoing treatment at Narayana General Hospital here.
A medical student from Uttar Pradesh, Prasan Bhansal, suspected electric short-circuit to be cause of the fire as she had noticed an electric board in the toilet remain open ever since the train left Delhi.
D.Srinivasa Varma of Vijayawada, a software engineer working in Chennai, told the commission that he had woken up suddenly to the noises in the S-11 coach and felt breathlessness due to thick smoke and foul smell.
Immediately after noticing the fire, he ran towards the door at one end of the compartment and jumped out even as flames as high as 6 ft engulfed the entire coach filled with passengers.
Another passenger, Veena of New Delhi, suffered 40 percent burns and is undergoing treatment with ventilator support. She deposed that she woke up to a blast-like sound but could not stir out of her upper berth as she felt paralysed.
Suddenly, someone grabbed her and brought her down and pushed her out of the train. She could not recall who had rescued her.
A Rekha from Dayal Nagar in Chennai, an occupant of berth no 8, was rescued in a similar manner as someone pushed her out of the train.