Trains collide in India, 34 dead
Tuesday, December 14, 2004 Posted: 2:54 PM EST (1954 GMT)
Indian Army personnel and volunteers aid the rescue operation.
NEW DELHI, India (CNN) - A deadly head-on collision between two passenger trains in India's northern Punjab state has killed at least 34 people and injured dozens more, a railway official told CNN. The accident took place around midday Tuesday (0630 GMT) near the town of Hoshiairpur, about 240 miles (390 km) northwest of New Delhi, Indian Railways said.
A southbound express train was en route from Jammu Tawi to Ahmed Abad in Gujarat when it collided with a local commuter train, the railway said, also indicating fog may have played a role in the accident. Authorities in Punjab said at least three train cars had derailed and rescue crews were using acetylene torches to to cut apart the mangled wreckage. The Indian army has been called in to assist.
"We are focusing on ... rescue at this moment," Devender Sandhu, a railway spokesman, told NDTV television, adding fog may have played a role in the accident. Officials said services on that line of the track have been suspended.
India has Asia's largest rail network under one management, with Indian Railways saying on its Web site it runs around 11,000 trains each day carrying 13 million people. India's railway system is also one of the world's most accident-prone, averaging 300 incident a year.