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Last Updated: Monday, 3 October 2005, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Indian train crash leaves 16 dead
Wreck of train after Madhya Pradesh crash
Hundreds were trapped in the mangled wreck of the train
At least 16 people have been killed and dozens injured in a train crash in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

Rescue teams have been working to free hundreds feared trapped in the mangled carriages, officials said, with the death toll thought likely to rise.

India's railway minister said the Bundelkhand Express was travelling at six times the speed limit when six carriages derailed near Datia town.

India's railway is among the world's largest, but has a poor safety record.

The engine and the first six carriages jumped the rails and overturned
Railways spokesman Vagesh Pandey

The passenger express was travelling from Varanasi in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state to Gwalior city in Madhya Pradesh when it jumped the tracks.

Officials said the engine and six carriages then rammed into a signal cabin at high speed.

Meanwhile, in the southern state of Karnataka, police say at least 17 people were killed when an overcrowded passenger bus crashed into a ditch.

Carriages wrecked

District collector KK Deshmukh, speaking at the site about 280km (175 miles) north of the state capital, Bhopal, said several compartments of the train had been completely wrecked and others were badly damaged.

Rescue workers are using gas cutting equipment to try to reach the trapped passengers, she said.

Map showing India's Madhya Pradesh state

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav said at least 16 people had died and ordered an inquiry into the crash.

He said the train had apparently been travelling at 90km/h (55mph) as it approached Datia station, on a stretch of track where the speed limit is 15km/h (9mph).

Mr Yadav promised compensation of 500,000 Indian rupees (6,500) to the families of those killed and said at least one relative of each victim would be given a job in the railways.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed his shock at the crash and sent his condolences to families of the victims.

Meanwhile, 17 people were killed late on Sunday near Bangalore, in the south Indian state of Karnataka, when an overcrowded bus fell into a ditch.

Ten of those killed were sitting on the roof of the vehicle, which police said was carrying 150 people.

In April, a collision between a passenger train and a stationary goods train near the city of Baroda, in the western state of Gujarat, killed 17 people and injured 78.

Two months earlier, more than 50 people died when a trailer carrying wedding guests was hit by a train on a crossing near Nagpur, in Maharashtra state.


SEE ALSO:
India rail crash staff suspended
23 Apr 05 |  South Asia
India's antiquated railways
21 Apr 05 |  South Asia
India train crash deaths reach 55
04 Feb 05 |  South Asia


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