Xinhua — At least seven people were killed and several others injured in a fire which broke out in two compartments of an express train in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand in the wee hours Nov 22, said police.

Xinhua — At least seven people were killed and several others injured in a fire which broke out in two compartments of an express train in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand in the wee hours Nov 22, said police.

Seven persons, including two children, were charred to death after fire broke out in an air-conditioned coach and then spread to another AC coach, Railway Protection Force Divisional Commandant Sashi Kumar told the media.

The death toll is further expected to rise, as local TV channels aired footage of the two coaches in flames and later rescue workers trying to get inside the completely charred areas of the burnt bogies.

An Indian Railways official in the national capital said that the deceased included a five-year-old girl while two Russians were among those injured.

Though the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, some eyewitnesses told the TV channels that they saw a short- circuit at 2:00 a.m..

An inquiry has been ordered by Commissioner Railway Safety.

The incident brought railway traffic to a halt in the area for over six hours, with many trains being canceled.

Mishaps are common on the state-owned Indian railways, an immense network connecting every corner of the country. It operates 9,000 passenger trains and carries some 18 million passengers daily.

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