The fire that spread through the Bangalore City-Nanded Express near here on Saturday morning could not be linked to an inflammable substance or any explosive material, stated the Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratory team from Hyderabad, headed by A. Sarada.
Speaking to The Hindu, a police official who worked with the forensic team comprising six people, including experts from the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory, conclusively said the team had found no evidence that would directly indicate the presence of an inflammable substance in the remnants of the charred coach.
The official also denied having found any containers that would have indicated the presence of highly inflammable chemical substances that might have been carried by any of the passengers on the coach.
The forensic team which arrived here on Sunday began searching for clues in the coach, now placed at the Prasanthi Nilayam railway station at Puttaparthy. Later, the team visited the accident site for clues.
Meanwhile, the police officer also discounted the possibility of any explosive material being carried on the train as there was no evidence of a blast having taken place. Fire Department sources said no survivor recounted hearing an explosion.
The forensic team collected a large number of samples inside the gutted coach and at the accident site. “Once the samples are sent for spectroscopic analysis, the nature of the burnt material would be known, eventually indicating the possible cause of the fire,” the police officer said.
Speaking about the possibility of sabotage, Superintendent of Police S. Senthil Kumar said: “Until the investigation by the forensic experts is finished and the report is submitted indicating any such angle, we would not be able to rule out anything.”
Other sources said there was an absence of a motive or an identifiable target.
In the given scenario, based on the information coming in till now, the chances of a short circuit leading to the fire, as indicated by Railway Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge, seems the best possible explanation for the fire.