Indian commuters wait for the local train at Borivali railway station in Mumbai, India, 27 October 2023. EFE/EPA/FILE/DIVYAKANT SOLANKI

Death toll in train collision in southern India rises to 13

New Delhi, Oct 30 (EFE).- The Indian authorities on Monday raised the number of casualties from the collision of two trains in the southern part of the country to 13 dead and 50 injured, as emergency teams continued to rescue people and investigate the cause of the accident.

Police superintendent Deepika M Patil of Vizianagaram district in Andhra Pradesh, where the accident occurred, confirmed the latest increase in casualties.

The Director of Public Relations of the Eastern Division of the Indian Railways, Biswajit Sahoo, told reporters that some 50 injured passengers were transferred to nearby hospitals.

The official added that 17 trains were canceled and another 22 were diverted to other routes on Monday to facilitate rescue operations in the area and the restoration of the track.

The authorities hoped that the track could be made operational again by the afternoon.

Pictures broadcast by Indian media showed several excavators removing debris from practically destroyed coaches that had been derailed from the railway track after the crash.

Citing police sources, NDTV news channel reported that Sunday’s accident could have occurred due to human error after the driver of one of the trains, who was among the deceased, hit another locomotive from behind.

In a statement on social media platform X, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced financial compensation of 200,000 rupees (about $2,400) to the families of the deceased and another 50,000 rupees (about $600) to the injured.

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 percent 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.

India’s vast rail network, 68,000 kilometers long, is largely open, which means that trains can collide with people or animals crossing the tracks. EFE