Wrong-track train kills 21 in India

Wrong-track train kills 21 in India

A freight train on the wrong track crashed into a stationary passenger engine killing at least 21 people in India today.

The death toll could rise as the debris of two damaged coaches were being cleared, rail officials said.

The crash happened at the Bhaderwah rail station, 230 miles south of the Indian capital, New Delhi.

The freight train was on a wrong track and hit the passenger train head-on, a railway spokesman said.

At least 53 passengers were injured, 18 of them seriously.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee ordered an inquiry into the collision.

Accidents are common on India’s sprawling rail network, one of the world’s largest but lacking in modern signalling and communication systems. Most crashes are blamed on poor maintenance and human error.

In July, 63 people were killed after a train smashed into another at a station in West Bengal state.

A passenger train derailed and was hit by a cargo train in May, killing 145 people in West Bengal state. Authorities blamed sabotage by Maoist rebels.

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