19 Jul 2010

Train slams into back of another at Indian station

9:45 pm on 19 July 2010

At least 60 people are believed to have been killed in a collision between two trains in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal.

One of the trains, a high-speed express, ploughed into the back of the other as it was standing at the station in Sainthia, 200 kilometres north of Kolkata, in the early hours of the morning.

The force of the impact mangled several carriages and lifted one onto a footbridge above the tracks. Rescuers have recovered the bodies of dozens of victims, but many people are still trapped inside.

Officials believe that the trains were packed with commuters heading back to work after spending a weekend with their families.

Hundreds of people have gathered at the site, desperate for information on missing family members.

Faulty signalling may have caused it

The BBC reports there is speculation that faulty signalling may have been the cause of the crash. A police investigation is under way.

This is the second major railway accident in West Bengal this year.

In May, nearly 150 people died when a Bombay-bound passenger train derailed and was hit by a goods train. Police accused Maoist rebels of sabotaging the track, but Maoists denied the charge.

Accidents are common on the state-owned Indian railway, which operates an immense network carrying something like 18 million passengers every day.