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49 people killed as trains collide in east India

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CALCUTTA, India – A speeding express train collided with a passengertrain at a station in eastern India early Monday, mangling the carriages and killing at least 49 people, railway police said.


In this image made from TV footage, a crowd gathers near crashed trains at Sainthia station, about 125 …

The crash happened about 2 a.m. when the Uttarbanga Express slammed into the stationary Bananchal Express as it left the platform at Sainthia station, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) north of Calcutta.

The collision destroyed two passenger cars and a luggage car, turning them into a tangle of twisted metal. The passenger cars were reserved for those on the cheapest tickets and such carriages are usually packed to capacity.

The force of the crash was so intense the roof of one car flew into the air and landed on an overpass above the tracks. Local residents climbing through the debris searching for survivors were later joined by rescue workers using heavy equipment to cut through the metal.

Rescuers recovered 49 bodies from the crash site and about 100 other people were injured, said railway spokesman Samir Goswami. The cause of the crash was under investigation, he said.

Accidents are common on India’s sprawling rail network, one of the world’s largest, with most blamed on poor maintenance.

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