Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday expressed "shock and grief" over the death of 32 people who were burnt alive in the New Delhi-Chennai Tamil Nadu Express train fire and directed the railway ministry to coordinate relief work.
Expressing "shock and grief" over the loss of lives, the prime minister conveyed his condolences and sympathies to the kin of those who have died in the accident and the injured.
"He has asked the ministry of railways to work with the Andhra Pradesh government to coordinate and speed up rescue and relief measures and to render all assistance to the kin of the victims," a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.
The fire broke out in the S11 coach of the train between 4.30 a.m. and 4.45 a.m., minutes after the Chennai-bound train passed through Nellore railway station in south coastal Andhra Pradesh, about 450 km from Hyderabad.
Vice President Hamid Ansari also expressed deep sorrow over the tragic accident and conveyed his "heartfelt" condolences to the bereaved families.
The cause of the fire, suspected to be an electrical short-circuit, is being ascertained. Twenty-seven injured passengers are undergoing treatment at various hospitals in Nellore.
The government has announced a compensation of Rs.5 lakh to the families of each of the dead and Rs.1 lakh each for those seriously injured.