[India] At least 33 people died as bus hit train at level crossing

Started by Xhanch Studio, July 07, 2011, 08:18:31 AM

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Xhanch Studio

At least 33 people are reported dead in India after a bus carrying a wedding party was struck by a train at a level crossing in Uttar Pradesh state.

The express train collided with the bus at an unmanned level crossing in Patiyali, 250km (160 miles) south of the capital, Delhi.

The bus was returning after a wedding when the accident happened.

A local journalist said the train dragged the bus full of passengers up to 500 metres down the track.

The accident happened at about 0200 (2030 GMT Wednesday).

The bus, carrying up to 100 wedding guests, had come to a halt at the crossing after its axle broke, and it was then hit by the train, local administrator Selva Kumar told the Associated Press.

People sitting on the roof of the bus were thrown off and seriously injured while those inside were crushed, reports the BBC's Ram Dutt Tripathi in Lucknow. No passengers on the train were hurt.

The bride and the groom were travelling in a separate vehicle and were not among the victims.

More than 20 people have been admitted to a nearby hospital while efforts are continuing to free those trapped in the wreckage.

One of the injured told a local journalist that he had been sitting on the roof of the bus when he saw the train coming towards them.

He said he tried to warn the driver, who did not appear to hear him.

"Talking to the survivors, it seems the bus driver must have either not seen the signal or not heard the train when he decided to attempt the crossing," SK Seth, chief a local hospital where the injured have been admitted, told the AFP news agency.

TV pictures from the site of the accident showed policemen carrying bodies on stretchers from the wreckage of the bus.

Train accidents are common in India, which has one of the world's busiest rail networks.

In May last year more than 100 people were killed when a Mumbai-bound express train jumped off the tracks into the path of an oncoming goods train in West Bengal. The tracks had been apparently sabotaged by Maoist rebels.

And in July 2010, more than 60 people were killed when a speeding passenger express hit another train waiting at a station in West Bengal.
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