India's first ever fully-automated driverless train approaches a terminal during a media preiview, in New Delhi, India, 28 December 2020. EFE/EPA/STR

Two trains collide in India, leaving several dead and injured

New Delhi, 29 Oct (EFE). – At least nine people were killed and dozens injured when two passenger trains collided in southern India on Sunday. Emergency teams are treating the victims.

In statements to the press, the Director of Public Relations of the Eastern Division of the Indian Railways, Biswajit Sahoo, put the death toll at nine and the number of injured at 29.

The administration of the Vizianagaram district in the southern state of Kerala, where the accident took place, said that at least 40 people are injured and that four are in critical condition, according to the news agency ANI.

The causes of the accident, which involved at least three coaches, are not yet known, railway officials said.

Pictures broadcast by Indian media show several derailed coaches and people crowding around them as rescue teams work to save and care for the victims.

The Chief Minister of Andra Pradesh, Jagan Reddy, took to X, formerly Twitter, to express his deep shock at the event and ordered that attention be paid to the area.

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and said that he had spoken to the Minister of Railways to take stock of the situation.

The Ministry of Railways has since set up an emergency line to help locate the families of the victims.

The incident follows a derailment in June in the eastern state of Odisha that killed 275 people and injured more than a thousand, highlighting the safety shortcomings of India’s railways, where derailments account for 70% of accidents.

The Asian country has the world’s fourth-largest railway network by length and recorded 2,017 derailments between April 2017 and March 2021, according to a recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

India’s vast rail network, 68,000 kilometres long, is largely open, which means that trains can collide with people or animals crossing the tracks without paying attention. EFE