Kerala: Man sets co-passengers ablaze on train, 3 found dead
In a shocking incident in Kerala, an unidentified person reportedly set co-passengers on fire inside a compartment of the Alappuzha-Kannur Executive Express on Sunday night when the train—headed for Kannur—was crossing the Korapuzha River bridge. Eight passengers suffered burn injuries while three members of a family, including a two-year-old kid, were found dead on the railway track 100km from where the incident took place.
Reason behind incident unknown
The eyewitnesses told the police that the culprit entered the D1 reserved coach after the train left the Kozhikode Railway Station. He was allegedly carrying two bottles of what they suspected was a flammable liquid. The man reportedly sprayed the liquid on fellow passengers and set them on fire unprovoked, The Indian Express reported. However, India Today reported the incident escalated after an argument.
Hunt for the culprit is on, say police
Train resumed journey after sealing 2 compartments
As the fire started at around 10:00 pm Sunday, chaos ensued; passengers ran to other compartments while someone pulled the alarm chain causing the train to stop on the Korapuzha bridge, and the culprit managed to escape. Two of the compartments were sealed, and after an inspection, the journey was resumed. Those injured were shifted to the hospital by the Railway Protection Force (RPF).
Bodies didn't have any burn injuries
The police suspect the deceased might have fallen off the train or jumped out in panic to save themselves from the fire. Notably, they didn't have any burn injuries. An eyewitness told Hindustan Times a motorcycle-borne person was waiting for the culprit on the bridge when he escaped from the train. Moreover, cops have recovered CCTV footage of the suspect from a nearby house.
State government will take necessary steps to ensure safety: CM
Terming the incident "shocking," Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said that a special investigation team (SIT) would be tasked with probing the matter. "The state government will take necessary steps to ensure the safety of the rail passengers. The Union Ministry of Railways would be asked to strengthen the safety of rail passengers," he added.
Police suspect terror angle, say could be well-planned attack
Also, the police found a suspicious bag containing a bottle of petrol and two mobile phones on railway tracks, leading them to suspect a terror angle. An SIT will be formed to probe the case, as it seems to be a well-planned attack, they said.Share this timeline