07/19/2010, 00.00
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India, at least 60 dead and 90 injured in train crash

The Uttarbanga Express did not respect the red light and order to stop. At two am (local time) it rammed into the Vananchal Express, on track four.

Kolkata (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At two o'clock this morning (local time) at least 60 people were killed and 90 others injured seriously in a train crash, when the Uttarbanga Express train collided with the Vananchal Express in Sainthia station near Bolpur in West Bengal.

The impact of the crash sent a coach flying 7 metres onto an overbridge.  Relief operations are still ongoing and it is feared that the death toll may rise. Rescuers are trying to cut through the metal of the carriages to get in and rescue the injured.

According to preliminary investigations, the accident was due to human error. The Vananchal Express was stopped at track four, when the Uttarbanga Express rammed into it. The driver of the Uttarbanga Express did not respect the red light and because it was travelling too fast was unable to avoid the collision when it received the order to stop from the station staff.

The injured passengers were transported to nearby hospitals Sainthia and Suri, while rescue teams were called from Rampurhat, Asansol and Burdwan. Mamata Banerjee, Minister of Railways, has opened an investigation to clarify events and establish responsibilities.

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