Dozens Killed As Fire Engulfs Train
At least 47 people have been killed after a fire swept through a train packed with sleeping passengers in southern India.
Panicked survivors rushing for the only clear exit once the overnight train between New Delhi to the south-eastern city of Chennai had stopped.
Investigators found the charred remains of victims still in their sleeping berths, and are struggling to identify them.
A railway station worker noticed the burning coach as the train passed through the town of Nellore, which is around 300 miles south of Hyderabad, local official B. Sridhar said.
Once the alarm was raised, the train was stopped and the coach was detached from the rest of the train to prevent the blaze from spreading.
"Since the fire had engulfed one door of the coach, people had to rush to the other end of the coach to exit," Mr Sridhar said.
The fire spread quickly through the carriage, killing dozens of people
Passengers said the fire spread swiftly through the coach.
"We woke up suddenly when the train came to a halt. That's when we noticed the fire at one end of the coach and shouted out. People were still sleeping, but once they realised the danger they scrambled to the door," one called Shantanu told New Delhi Television.
He said it took passengers a few minutes to react and push their way through the narrow space between the berths.
"By the time we got out of the door, the coach was completely on fire," said Shantanu, who like many Indians uses only one name.
He said firefighters sprayed water over the burning coach, but it was gutted.
Medical staff carry a body away from the train carriage
Sridhar said the fire may have been caused by an electrical short circuit in the coach.
The blaze killed 47 people, according to Anil Kumar, a regional railway manager. At least 28 others were hospitalised with burns, including at least two in a critical condition.
Railway and medical workers are trying to identify the dead, he said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims.
India has one of the world's largest train networks, with more than 10,000 trains and 40,000 miles of track. Around 20m people travel by train each day.