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15 killed, 20 injured in train collision in N. India

IN a major rail mishap, at least 15 people were killed and over 20 injured when two trains collided near the holy Indian town of Mathura in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh in the wee hours today, a senior Indian Railway official said.

"The accident occurred at 04:00 am near Mathura railway station when the Delhi-bound Goa Samparkranti Express rammed into an unreserved compartment of a stationary Mewar Express. The impact caused two coaches to jump the tracks. The mishap has claimed the lives of at least 15 people till now, while many more trapped inside the crushed unreserved bogey of the Mewar Express are feared dead," the official said.

Indian Army has pressed in some 150 personnel and gas cutters are being used to cut through the damaged bogey.

"Fifteen injured have been taken out from the ill-fated general coach of Mewar Express after cutting the bogey," District Magistrate Dinesh Chandra Shukla told the media.

Divisional Railway Manager of Agra RD Tripathi has claimed that preliminary probe has revealed that the train driver of the Goa Express was at fault.

"We will ascertain the exact cause only after a full investigation," he said.

Meanwhile, Indian Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has ordered a high-level inquiry into the accident. She has announced a compensation of 500,000 rupees (US$10,000) to the families of the dead and 100,000 rupees to those injured.


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