Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Israel ramps up Gaza bombardment

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • France evacuates its nationals from Libya

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Karzai’s cousin killed in Afghan suicide attack

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Dozens killed and scores injured in high-speed train crash

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-07-19

More than 60 people have been killed in a high-speed rail crash in India's West Bengal, after an express train ploughed into the back of a stationary passenger car. More than 165 people were left injured.

AFP - A speeding express rammed into the back of a stationary passenger train in eastern India on Monday, killing more than 60 people and leaving 165 injured, many of them in critical condition.

The standing train was waiting to leave Sainthia station in Birbhum district, 260 kilometres (160 miles) north of the West Bengal state capital Kolkata, when the express slammed into its rear in the early hours of Monday.

The force of the impact lifted one wagon clear off the tracks and left it mounted on an overhead passenger bridge.

Bodies and injured travellers were pulled from the crumpled mass of steel by emergency services and by members of a huge crowd of onlookers who had gathered around the site of the accident.

Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee refused to rule out the possibility of sabotage, but West Bengal Civil Defence Minister Srikumar Mukherjee said there was no evidence of any foul play.

"It's not an act of sabotage. The tragic accident took place because of negligence on the part of the railway administration," Mukherjee said from the crash site.

He said a total of 61 people had been killed and 165 injured, 89 of them seriously.

The number of victims overwhelmed local hospitals in Sainthia and Suri, another local town.

"There were injured passengers writhing in pain on the floor of the emergency room unattended," Samir Nandy, who had come to look for his brother-in-law, told AFP.

It was the second train disaster in West Bengal in less than two months.

In May, nearly 150 people were killed when a Mumbai-bound high-speed passenger express from Kolkata veered off the tracks into the path of an oncoming freight train.

Police officials said a section of the track had been deliberately removed and blamed Maoist rebels active in the state.

At the moment of impact on Monday, passengers recounted experiencing a shuddering smash before panic broke out.

"I was fast asleep on the top berth when there was this huge crash like an explosion," one passenger told the Times Now news channel. "I was flung from the berth, and then people started shouting."

Another survivor, Rajni Dhar, said she heard a loud bang and then blacked out.

"When I regained consciousness, I screamed for help and was pulled out of the train compartment," she said.

Most of the dead were in the rear "unreserved" carriages, the cheapest area of the train which is usually tightly packed.

Banerjee announced compensation of 500,000 rupees (10,500 dollars) for the families of the dead and 100,000 rupees for the injured.

Heavy lifting equipment was rushed to the scene, as well as soldiers and paramilitary forces, who helped maintain order and assist with the rescue operations.

The state-run railway system -- still the main form of long-distance travel in India despite fierce competition from new private airlines -- carries 18.5 million people daily.

There are hundreds of accidents on the railways every year, although the past five years have witnessed a marked decline in serious crashes.

In 2002, 100 people were killed and 150 hurt when a carriage plunged into a river in the northeastern state of Bihar, while in 1995 more than 300 died in a collision near Ferozabad, close to the Taj Mahal city of Agra.

The worst accident was in 1981 when a train plunged into a river in the eastern state of Bihar, killing an estimated 800 people.
 

Date created : 2010-07-19

  • INDIA

    Death toll climbs in deadly Maoist train sabotage

    Read more

  • INDIA

    Delhi-bound train derails, killing seven

    Read more

COMMENT(S)