MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - At least 12 people were killed and 45 injured after two passenger trains collided in India’s norther state of Uttar Pradesh, AFP reports citing local officials.
The Krishak Express, travelling from Varanasi to Gorakhpur, allegedly overshot a stop signal and drove into the Lucknow-Barauni Express, which was changing tracks, said Anil Kumar Saxena, the railway spokesman. As a result, three carriages derailed and toppled over.
“There were more than 100 people in my coach and many of them were getting ready to get off at the Gorakhpur station, when there was this huge bang,” Ramesh Chaudhry, one of the passengers, told AP.
“We were sleeping when we heard a loud bang followed by a massive jolt,” Ram Kumar Chaudhary, a passenger on the Lucknow-Barauni Express, said, as quoted by AFP. “The next thing we saw was that the passengers were piled one on top of the other and the coach was lying on its side,” he added.
Although the investigation in ongoing, Railways Minister Sadanand Gowda stated that human error is the likely reason for the incident. “It's loco pilot’s mistake, who neglected the signal. The loco pilot has been suspended, strict action will be taken for negligence,” the official wrote on Twitter.
Its loco pilot's mistake ,who neglected the signal, The loco pilot has been suspended ,Strict action will be taken for negligence— Sadananda Gowda (@DVSBJP) 1 октября 2014
He added that he was “deeply hurt” by what happened and offered relatives and loved ones of the victims his deepest condolences. The minister also said that he is personally monitoring the situation.
Railway official Alok Kumar Singh clarified that both the driver of the Krishak Express and his assistant have been suspended, BBC reports.