The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)
Dozens dead in train crash
Angry mob beats train driver and sets fire to carriages
A high speed train ploughed into and killed around 35 people as they crossed a railway track in India. It led to angry scenes when furious onlookers attacked the driver and set fire to coaches.
At least 37 people were killed whena train ran over Hindu pilgrims crossing a railway track in eastern India yesterday.
An angry mob then beat the train driver severely and set fire to the coaches in retaliation, officials said.
The pilgrims were crossing the tracks at the station in Dhamara Ghat, a small town in Bihar state, when they were struck by the Rajya Rani Express train, said Dinesh Chandra Yadav, a local member of parliament. Several other people were injured.
PN Rai, a railway official in Bihar, said 37 people died when the train, running at high speed, hit people on the track.
Arunendra Kumar, a senior railway official, said the train was not supposed to stop at Dhamara Ghat and had been given clearance to pass through the station. However, some pilgrims waited on the tracks thinking they could stop the train, he said.
The train stopped a few hundred yards beyond the spot where it hit the pilgrims. Angry mobs then pulled the train driver out and beat him.
Mr Yadav said the driver died, but Mr Kumar said the driverwasin hospital in a critical condition.
The mob then got all the passengers out of the train and set coaches on fire.
Yesterday was the last day of month-long prayer ceremonies at the Katyayani temple near Dhamara Ghat, a popular Hindu pilgrimage site. The pilgrims were returning from morning prayers.
Kumar Ashutosh, a passenger on the train, said thatwithinafewsecondsof hitting people on the track, the driver slammed on the emergency brakes and the train ground to a halt.
“Soon, groups of people began running toward the engine. They asked us to get down from the train.
“Someofthempulled out the driver and his assistant and began beating them,” said Ashutosh.
He said a crowd of around 5,000 people had gathered near Dhamara Ghat station and were chasing away the district officials who tried to remove bodies from the tracks. The few policemen posted at the station had fled.
District magistrate Syed Pervez Alam said the dismembered bodies of passengers who were killed were lying on the track.
MrAshutosh said that although the train had been given clearance to pass through Dhamara Ghat without stopping, the driver was partly to blame. “The driver did not slow down when the train approached the station, so it was difficult for him to stop when he realised that there were people on the track,” said Mr Ashutosh.