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15 dead as train collides with taxi in India

[ 2012-03-21 10:46]     字号 [] [] []  
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Fifteen people were killed on Tuesday in a train accident in north India, an official said, amid a political row over a plan to raise fares to pay for a safety upgrade on the network.

A train traveling across Uttar Pradesh state crashed into an overloaded taxi minivan carrying 19 people as it tried to pass an unmanned crossing in Mahamaya Nagar district, 296 kilometers from state capital Lucknow.

"The (minivan) was thrown six meters," said a state home ministry official who declined to give his name, adding that 15 passengers were killed instantly and four others were critically injured.

The accident occurred around 7:30 am local time on Tuesday morning, he added.

Many rail crossings in India are unmanned and lack functioning signals, raising the risk of collisions for vehicle drivers attempting to cross.

The cash-strapped train system has a notoriously bad safety record, with a recent official report revealing almost 15,000 people are killed every year crossing rail tracks - a figure that the government described as a "massacre".

Last week, the national rail minister pledged to make safety his top priority on the network and hiked fares for the first time in nearly a decade, earning criticism from the opposition and his own party.

The minister, Dinesh Trivedi, resigned on Sunday after being forced out by the head of his Trinamool Congress Party, a minority coalition partner in the government that called the fare hike "anti-poor".

India's rail network carries 18 million people daily and is still the main form of long-distance travel despite fierce competition from private airlines.

The last major train accident occurred in July last year when a packed express train traveling from Kolkata to New Delhi derailed at high speed in the state of Uttar Pradesh, killing 69 people.

India's worst rail accident was in 1981, when a train plunged into a river in the eastern state of Bihar, killing an estimated 800 people.


1. How many people died in the latest train accident in India?

2. Where was the accident?

3. How many people are killed in rail-related incidents in India?


1. 15.

2. Mahamaya Nagar district in Uttar Pradesh state.

3. Almost 15,000 people are killed every year crossing rail tracks.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

15 dead as train collides with taxi in India

About the broadcaster:

15 dead as train collides with taxi in India

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.