The fire broke out around 5.30 a.m. in the S-11 compartment, minutes after the Chennai-bound train left Nellore railway station in south coastal Andhra Pradesh, about 450 km from Hyderabad.
A witness told reporters that many were trapped inside when the flames engulfed the compartment. "I was lucky to come out but many passengers could not escape as two doors were jammed and the smoke spread fast," said Sudhir.
As the train was not moving at full speed, some passengers either entered the adjoining compartment or jumped down. However, those sleeping on the upper berths could not escape as the smoke spread fast leaving the doors jammed.
Most of the victims of the train fire at Nellore in Andhra Pradesh early Monday were from Chennai, according to railway officials.
Out of 72 passengers travelling in the ill-fated S11 coach of New Delhi-Chennai Tamil Nadu Express, 28 were from Chennai, while 17 passengers were from Delhi.
Image: A fire official douses fire coming out from a coach of a passenger train at Nellor nearly 500 kilometers south of Hyderabad, Monday, July 30, 2012.