Tragic Fire Engulfs Tourist Train Near Madurai, Leaving Nine Dead

At least nine people lost their lives, and 20 others sustained injuries in a tragic incident where a fire erupted in a coach of a tourist train near Madurai. The unfortunate event occurred during the journey from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh to Rameswaram. The train, operated by Southern Railway, came to an abrupt halt about 1 kilometer away from Madurai railway station.

Initial Findings and Ex-Gratia Compensation

The preliminary investigation suggests that the fire originated due to cooking activities involving a gas cylinder. Devotees aboard the train were engaged in cooking when the fire broke out. The blaze quickly engulfed the compartment and spread to adjacent ones, creating a chaotic and urgent situation.

The Madurai District Collector, MS Sangeetha, reported, “Around 5:30 am today, there was a fire in a coach halted here at Madurai railway station. There were pilgrims traveling from Uttar Pradesh in it. When they lit the gas stove to make coffee, the gas cylinder blasted. As of now, we have retrieved nine bodies.”

Southern Railway has promptly announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the families of the deceased, extending their support during this tragic time.

Rescue and Response

The passengers, amidst the chaos caused by the fire, managed to evacuate the train promptly. The local authorities and emergency services were swift in their response. A video shared by Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) shows the efforts of rescue operations being carried out at the scene.

“Madurai District Collector confirms eight casualties in the fire that broke out in a parked tourist train earlier today. Another 20 injured have been admitted to the Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai. Rescue operation is underway.” – Press Trust of India

Details from Railway Officials

B Guganesan, Chief Public Relations Officer of Southern Railway, provided an official statement regarding the incident. He mentioned that the fire started at approximately 5:15 am in a private party coach at the Madurai yard. The fire services were informed immediately and arrived by 5:45 am. The flames were successfully extinguished by 7:15 am. Fortunately, there was no damage to any other coaches.

The Railways also revealed that the passengers in the private party coach had illegally carried a gas cylinder, which ultimately led to the fire. Many passengers were able to exit the coach upon noticing the fire. Some individuals had disembarked at the platform itself, preventing further harm.

Loss of Lives and Ongoing Investigation

Reports have confirmed that a total of six passengers from Uttar Pradesh have tragically lost their lives due to the fire. The injured individuals have been admitted to the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai, where they are receiving medical treatment and care.

The incident has prompted an investigation into the circumstances that allowed an illegal gas cylinder onboard, leading to this tragic incident. As the investigation unfolds, authorities will work to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.


The fire that engulfed the tourist train near Madurai is a devastating incident that has claimed nine lives and left many injured. As the affected families mourn their losses and the injured receive medical attention, questions remain about how such incidents can be prevented in the future. The railways’ swift response and rescue efforts highlight the importance of preparedness in handling emergencies.

Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and we hope that this incident serves as a reminder to prioritize safety measures and adhere to regulations when traveling by train or any other mode of transportation.

Note: The investigation is ongoing, and further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

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