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9 killed, 85 injured in train accident in south India

(Xinhua)

14:42, September 14, 2011

NEW DELHI, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- At least nine people were killed and 85 others injured in a train accident in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu late Tuesday night, a senior police official said Wednesday.

The mishap happened on a railway between Arakkonam and Chiteri, 80 km from Chennai, at 9:40 p.m. local time when an electric multiple unit train running between Chennai Beach and Vellore hit the rear of a Arakkonam-Katpadi passenger train, which stopped there for signal near Arakkonam.

"Rescue operations are over and work on repairing the rail track has started. However, bad weather is slowing down the process. The injured have been admitted to a local hospital," the official said.

Local TV channels' footage showed five carriages were derailed after the accident and rescue workers pressed into service to bring out many passengers trapped in the debris.

Indian Railway Ministry has announced a compensation of 500,000 rupees (10,000 U.S. dollars) for families of the dead and 100,000 rupees (2,000 U.S. dollars) for the injured.

"Initial reports suggest that the driver may have jumped the signal, but this is not confirmed yet. Our officials have reached the site. We will confirm the casualty figures only after looking into detailed probe reports," said Indian Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi who has rushed to the site.

The mishap disrupted train services in the region.

This is the third major accident in two months. On July 10, 70 people were killed when the Howrah-Kalka Mail derailed near Kanpur in northern India and three weeks later some coaches of Guwahati- Bangalore Express derailed in eastern state of West Bengal's Malda district and were hit by another train, leaving three people dead.

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