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19 snared on death train

Hyderabad, Dec. 21: The engine and nine compartments of the Hyderabad-Bangalore Express jumped rails and overturned on a small bridge 280 km from here, killing 19 people and injuring 80, after midnight on Friday.

A general bogie, a first class AC compartment and a luggage van of the Bangalore-bound train were among the coaches that jumped tracks.

The accident comes three months after the showpiece Rajdhani Express derailed on a bridge in Bihar, leaving 126 people dead and raising questions about the safety of rail travel.

Senior railway officials said the toll of last night’s accident was likely to go up. Cranes have been brought from Bangalore and Guntakal for rescue operations. Relief trains have been rushed from Guntakal, Secunderabad and Bangalore.

“The accident might have been caused by loosening of the track as the welding at the joints had broken under pressure from the high speed of the train,” an official said.

The compartments that jumped rails were at the back.

 

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