Saturday, 14 February 2009

Indian train crashes

At least 15 people were killed last night when India’s Coromandel Express train was derailed 60 miles from Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa state. Hundreds of local people have been helping the emergency services to try and free people trapped in the wreckage.

India has one of the busiest rail networks in the world, carrying more than 18 million passengers every day and employing nearly one and a half million people. If also has lots of accidents – around 300 a year.

Two of the worst rail crashes in history happened in India. In 1981, a desperately overcrowded train plunged into a river in the state of Bihar, killing up to 1,000 people, while in 1995 the Puroshottam Express ploughed into another express train that had hit an animal on the tracks at Firozabad, and 358 people died.

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