Bangalore: The devastating fire in Bangalore- Nanded Express train in Andhra Pradesh that left 26 dead was "most probably" caused due to negligence by unidentified passengers, a provisional Railway probe into the December 28 incident said.
The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) Southern Region, who carried out the probe, also recommended switching off power points provided for charging laptops and mobile phones in AC coaches between 10 pm and 6 am.
"The December 28 accident was most probably caused by advertent act or by an act of negligence on the part of unidentified passenger(s) or person(s)," said Satish Kumar Mittal, CRS Southern Region in his provisional findings.
Quoting the report of the Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratory (APFSL), the CRS said no signs of explosion were found in the burnt coach and ruled out sabotage as cause of the fire, which had ripped through an AC 3-Tier coach of the train between Sri Satya Sai Prashanti Nilayam-Basampalli stations in the wee hours.
As per the post-mortem report, the cause for the death of majority of passengers was given as gaseous asphyxia with 100 per cent burns and neurological shock, the findings released to the media said.
The CRS said burnt and melted adopter and burnt laptop were found on Berth no 13 and also burnt cells in the ill-fated coach.
Burnt laptop was found on berth no 40 and a three-pin top in burnt condition with hanging snapped wire near mobile charging point of Berth no 39, said the findings submitted to the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety, Lucknow.
According to the findings, all protective devices -- high rupture capacity (HRC) fuses, moulded case circuit breakers (MCCB), miniature circuit breakers (MCB) and electric circuits were found intact in the coach except 40 amp MCBs and smaller MCBs for supply to light, fan and mobile charger circuits which were in burnt condition.
In other "immediate recommendations", CRS said in order to reduce combustible materials to some extent, Railways should do away with curtains in gangway portions of AC coaches.
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be provided in coaches to give timely warning of fire or smoldering, the report said.