Four years before the pre-dawn fire on Tamil Nadu Express at Nellore on Monday that killed 32 passengers, something similar had happened. The train: Gautami Express. The State: Andhra Pradesh. The toll: 32.
On August 1, 2008, a fire broke out in the Kakinada-bound Gautami Express near Kesamudram railway station at Warangal around 1.10 am. The fire started at S9 compartment and spread to the S10, S11, S12 and S13 coaches, aided by gusty winds and also because the train running at full speed.
As in the TN Express case, the fire was initially attributed to short circuit. It emerged later that highly inflammable substances present in the S10 coach were responsible for it. According to the then Commissioner of Railway Safety, South Central Circle, Secunderabad, R P Agarwal, who conducted the probe, unidentified persons had placed the material in the S10 coach.