20 killed, 100 hurt in rail mishap

Agence France Presse

Mumbai, June 16:

At least 20 people were killed and about 100 injured today when a passenger train derailed in western India after hitting a boulder on the tracks, railways minister Laloo Prasad Yadav said. The accident occurred on a bridge between Veer and Karanjadi stations about 200 km from the commercial hub Mumbai in western Maharashtra state, police said. Television footage showed mangled coaches of the Matsyagandha Express lying on their sides while two carriages were seen hanging precariously from the bridge. The locomotive was lying toppled on its side on the river bed. Locals were seen trying to rescue passengers still trapped in the twisted wreckage.

"According to my information, 20 people were killed and 100 were injured in the accident," Yadav told a press conference in the eastern metropolis of Kolkata. "Landslides on the railway tracks, triggered by heavy rains, might have caused the accident. I am going to the spot to supervise rescue work," he said. Most of the passengers had boarded the train from Mangalore.