BANGALORE:At least 14 people were killed and about 30 injured on Tuesday when a passenger train collided with a stationary goods train in southern India, a local railway official told AFP.
The passenger train was travelling to Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka state, when it rammed into the goods train at Penneconda station in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh.
“At least 14 people, including one child and two women, died when three coaches of Hampi Express overturned following a collision with a goods train,” G K Jalan, the railways’ regional public relations officer, told AFP.
He added that 30 people had been injured.
Speaking to AP, District official Durga Das said four coaches derailed when the driver of the express train applied emergency brakes on seeing the freight train on the same track.
Das said a fire broke out in one of the coaches after the collision and rescuers reached the spot to pull people out of the coaches.
The accident occurred before dawn, according to Chandralekha Mukherjee, executive director for information at the railways ministry in New Delhi.
“It appears that the driver of the passenger train overshot a signal, and hit the goods train, but we are awaiting the results of an inquiry,” Mukherjee told AFP.
Rescue workers and medical officials worked through the early hours to extricate all those inside the overturned carriages.
“There is no one trapped inside now,” Mukherjee said.
India’s rail network is still the main form of long-distance travel in the country despite fierce competition from private airlines.
The last major train accident in India occurred in July last year when a packed express train travelling from Kolkata to New Delhi derailed at high speed in the state of Uttar Pradesh, killing 69 people.
India’s worst rail accident was in 1981 when a train plunged into a river in the eastern state of Bihar, killing an estimated 800 people.