A fire engulfed a coach of an express train in southern India on Saturday, killing at least 26 passengers, many of whom became trapped and suffocated after the doors failed to open, officials said.

As the inferno and smoke raced through the car about 3:45 a.m., panicked passengers broke windows, many saving themselves by jumping from the train.

Sixty-seven passengers were in the carriage when the fire broke out about a mile from the town of Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh state, railways spokesman C.S. Gupta said. The train was brought to a halt and the burning coach was delinked, Gupta said.

Firefighters put out the blaze and retrieved at least 26 bodies, including those of two children, said a railway official. More than a dozen people were taken to hospitals with injuries sustained when they jumped from the train, the official said. - AP