Two persons were killed and nine others injured when a parcel containing fireworks exploded soon after it was offloaded from a passenger train at Sholavandan station, 30 kms from Madurai on Tuesday.
The blast occurred just as the Mayiladuthurai-Tirunelveli passenger train, from which the crackers were offloaded, was leaving the station, a top police official said.
He said the head of one of the victims was blown away and the other was charred beyond recognition due to the impact of the blast.
The explosion also blew away the asbestos roof of the platform about 20 feet from the ground and shattered the window panes of the moving train, he said.
One of the victims has been identified as a betel-nut and fruit seller on the platform, while the identity of the other could not be ascertained, police said.
The parcel contained a large number of crackers and it had not been handled carefully, leading to the blast, police said, ruling out any terrorist angle.
The police seized another parcel containing similar type of crackers.
The injured included four persons from the railway staff, a railway official said. Six persons were admitted to the local government hospital and three to a private hospital. The police denied reports that the parcel box contained country bombs.
The officials were enquiring as to how the parcel was allowed on the train, where it was booked and whether it was brought by the passengers without informing the officials.
"The other details will be available only after a detailed enquiry," they said.
Superintendent of Police of Madurai district Manoharan and other top officials visited the spot. Explosive experts have collected the samples for analysis.