Indian passenger train narrowly averts disaster

14:46, July 20, 2010      

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A major accident was averted in the northern Indian state of Punjab Tuesday when the alert crew of an express train realized that its iron hook had broken, detaching the engine and four bogies from the train that was moving at nearly 100 km per hour, reported the Indo-Asian News Service.

This narrow escape took place one day after two trains collided in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal early Monday morning, killing more than 60 people.

The engine and four compartments of the Himsagar Express got detached from the rest of the train after the hook broke near Lehragaga station in state's Sangrur district, about 150 km from the state capital Chandigarh, said the report.

A railway official said the train crew immediately realized that the rest of the train, comprising 16 to 17 bogies, was left behind. Eyewitnesses told railway officials that the hook broke with a small blast.

The official ruled out sabotage and attributed the snag to a technical fault, adding that a proper investigation was being conducted.

Indian Railways registered 11 major accidents in the past 15 months, with six of them causing heavy casualties.

Source: Xinhua


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