Tamil Nadu Express fire: 19 victims identified



Hyderabad: Two days after fire gutted a coach of the New Delhi-Chennai Tamil Nadu Express, 19 of the 32 bodies had been identified by Wednesday as forensic experts continued to sift through the wreckage for clues.

Thirteen bodies still remained unidentified at the Nellore Government Hospital. Of the identified victims of the fire tragedy, eight each were from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, two from Uttar Pradesh and one from Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

Railway officials added that at least nine bodies were burnt beyond recognition and they were planning to collect blood samples from the relatives claiming the bodies for DNA tests to establish the identity.

The forensic test to identify the bodies will be inevitable in view of the claims by the families of missing passengers. In one case, two families have claimed the same body.

Experts from Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratory (APFSL) for the second consecutive day Wednesday examined the gutted S-11 coach. They have not yet found any clues which could suggest sabotage as the cause behind the tragedy.

According to APFSL director ON Murthy, no remnants of explosives or blast marks were found.

Some survivors and eyewitnesses said they heard an explosion before the flames engulfed the coach. Authorities believe that the disaster was caused by electrical short circuiting.

The railways will launch a probe Thursday. Dinesh Kumar, commissioner of railway safety, south central circle, will conduct public inquiry for two days. Eyewitnesses or others with knowledge of what happened could record their statements before the commissioner at the Railway Officers' Rest House, Nellore.

IANS