Bangalore: A short circuit could have caused the fire in the AC coach of Bangalore-Nanded Express that has left 23 people dead, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said on Saturday, citing preliminary reports.
Kharge, who has ordered an inquiry into the mishap, said 23 passengers were confirmed dead and four others injured.
The AC coach had 67 passengers on board, of which 23 were trapped in the fire while others managed to alight as the attendant noticed smoke and the train was stopped, he said.
Quoting preliminary reports from Railway officials present at the spot, Kharge said, "Short circuit could have caused the fire" but the inquiry would reveal the exact cause.
He said an inquiry would be conducted by a panel which would also have other senior officials including Member (Electrical).
Kharge said a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each would be given to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs one lakh to the grievously injured and Rs 50,000 to others injured.
Medical expenses would be borne by the Railways.
He said the bodies would be brought to Bangalore.