Sabotage Angle Seen in Andhra Train Blaze
By N R Madhusudhan | Published: 30th December 2013 07:34 AM |
A day after 26 people perished in the fire that broke out in an AC coach of the Bangalore-Nanded Express, forensic experts, who on Sunday inspected the compartment to probe the cause of the blaze, said they have reason to suspect sabotage behind the incident. According to official sources, a team of forensic experts inspected the burnt compartment, which has been towed to Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh to collect samples for chemical analysis.
The investigators noticed a four inch-wide hole near Seat No. 7, which could have been caused by some explosive or other combustible material. The fire seems to have erupted from the floor of the train as it was completely burnt in the area where the fire started, the investigators said.
Moreover, 22 of the 26 bodies in the bogie were found on the berths in which they were sleeping.
Therefore, the experts have reason to believe that the fire spread very quickly, giving little time for the unfortunate passengers to escape, which, they said, would not have been the case if the blaze had occurred due to a short circuit as presumed earlier.
“If the fire was caused due to a short circuit, the blaze should have erupted from the top of the coach as all the electrical wiring of the train are fixed to the roof, but that is not the case. It is very early to come to any conclusion. We are drawing inferences after examining the burnt bogie. We can clearly determine the cause of the fire only after the chemical analysis report reaches us”, an official said.
The forensic experts took photographs of the different spots in the bogie and have collected around 50 samples of different materials.
The samples will be sent for chemical analysis to a laboratory in Hyderabad, which is expected to submit its report after seven days.
Meanwhile, as many as 19 of the 26 bodies have been identified so far.
The deceased who have been identified
Anirudh N Kulkarni
Passengers feared dead or missing
Radha Krishna R A
Asra and Ibrahim Rahi
Aman Preet Kaur
Passengers with grievous injuries identified
Prof Narahari Rao
(With inputs from Hyderabad)