India Sees 2 Fatal Train Derailments in One Day, Tourists Among Dead
Photo via Twitter/manaman_chhina
This Saturday will not be remembered as a good day for India’s rail system. Two separate train derailments on the same day in the nation have killed at least four passengers, including a pair of tourists, the Associated Press reported.
A tourist train had three coaches jump the tracks as it rounded a curve in the northern Himachal Pradesh state near the hill town of Kalka, railway official Neeraj Sharma told the AP.
Known as a “Toy Train,” according to the AP, it is a tourist attraction with just five coaches, and plies a scenic route to the mountainous resort locale of Shimla.
Sharma said to the AP that two female British tourists died instantly and five passengers were injured in the incident.
The BBC reported six injuries and identified York-based Great Rail Journeys as the company that chartered the train. Thirty-seven tourists, plus the tour manager were on board.
The tour company said to the BBC they knew “very little” but representatives were on the scene.
"A number of people in the group have been hospitalized," Great Rail Journeys said in a statement, and police told the BBC they were taken to medical facilities in the nearby city of Chandigarh.
Suresh Prabhu, India's railway minister, ordered an accident investigation, the AP said.
Meanwhile, in the early morning hours of Saturday, local time, a train traveling in southern India near Gulbarga in Karnataka state had nine of its coaches derail and fall on their sides, the AP said.
In the aftermath, police and rescuers were on the scene extracting “scores” of passengers from the coaches, Indian Railway spokesperson Anil Saksena said to the AP.
The Quint said two were killed and eight injured and identified the train as a Duronto Express train bound for Mumbai.
Those with injuries were taken to hospitals in Gulbarga, which is around 370 miles north of technology center Bangalore, according to the AP.
The cause of this derailment remains unknown.
The AP noted that India has one of the biggest railroad networks on Earth, serving about 23 million people a day.
But the news agency said “safety standards” have been a concern in light of a “spate” of accidents, pointing out an incident in August, where two passenger trains derailed over a monsoon-flooded bridge in central India, killing at least 24.
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