BBC News | 19 July 2010 | 03:06 GMT
A train crash in eastern India has killed at least 40 people, officials say. They say a passenger train ploughed into another that was waiting at a station in the town of Sainthia, West Bengal state, early on Monday. More than 100 people were reportedly injured in the accident. TV footage showed local residents climbing through the mangled trains as they searched for survivors. The cause of the crash was not immediately known. A major rescue operation is now under way.
Local officials say the accident occurred when the Uttar Banga Express crashed into the stationary Vananchal Express at the station, about 200km (125 miles) north of Calcutta. "The people who have lost their lives were travelling in unreserved coaches," local rail traffic manager Sunil Banerjee told the AFP news agency. "We do not have their names and any vital information about them to inform their relatives," he said.
The impact of the collision was so strong that the roof one of the coaches hit a footbridge above the tracks. At least 40 bodies have already been recovered, but there are fears that the death toll will rise further. Accidents are common on the state-owned Indian railways, which operates an immense network connecting every corner of the vast country. It operates 9,000 passenger trains and carries some 18 million passengers every day.