2 separate train accidents kill 14 in India: railroad officials


PATNA, India — Two train accidents in eastern and north India have claimed at least 14 lives, police and railroad officials said Tuesday.

A speeding train rammed into an SUV at an unmanned railroad crossing in eastern India killing all 13 people in the vehicle, S.N. Pradhan, a top police officer, said Tuesday.

The SUV was crossing the railroad track in Jharkhand state when it was hit by the passenger train late Monday night, said

The dead included five children.

Pradhan said police were investigating claims by witnesses that a tire of the SUV became stuck in the track, and that the vehicle was struck before people could clamber out.

In a separate railway accident near the Indian capital, two trains collided, killing the driver of one of the trains.

Neeraj Sharma, a railways spokesman, said at least 50 people were injured in the accident 60 kilometers (35 miles) south of New Delhi.

Reduced visibility caused by pollution and the onset of winter may have contributed to the accident, Sharma said.

India operates one of the world’s largest railroad networks, with about 23 million passengers traveling by train every day, however safety standards on the massive state-run railway network are a concern.

There are nearly 15,000 unmanned crossings on Indian railways and hundreds of people are killed at the crossings every year.