South Asia

India: '38 dead' after train hits bus at level crossing

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Media captionThe aftermath of the crash when an express train collided with the bus at an unmanned level crossing in Patiyali.

At least 38 people were killed after a train hit a bus carrying wedding guests at a level crossing in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, officials say.

The accident happened at an unmanned level crossing near Patiyali, a town 250km (160 miles) south-east of Delhi.

The express train rammed into the packed bus, dragging it several hundred metres down the track, reports said.

No one on the train was hurt. More than 30 people travelling on the bus were taken to nearby hospitals.

The bride and the groom were travelling separately and were not hurt.

An inquiry into the cause of the accident has been ordered.

Warning 'not heard'

The collision happened at about 0200 (2030 GMT Wednesday).

The bus, carrying up to 100 wedding guests, had come to a halt at the crossing after its axle broke, and it was then hit by the train, local administrator Selva Kumar told the Associated Press.

People sitting on the roof of the bus were thrown off and seriously injured while those inside were crushed, reports the BBC's Ram Dutt Tripathi in the state capital, Lucknow.

One of the injured told a local journalist that he had been sitting on the roof of the bus when he saw the train coming towards them.

He said he tried to warn the driver, who did not appear to hear him. Another injured person told journalists that the driver stopped the bus after a quarrel between the conductor and passengers.

"Talking to the survivors, it seems the bus driver must have either not seen the signal or not heard the train when he decided to attempt the crossing," SK Seth, chief of a local hospital where the injured have been admitted, told the AFP news agency.

TV pictures from the site of the accident showed policemen carrying bodies on stretchers from the wreckage of the bus. Debris was strewn across the tracks.

Train accidents are common in India, which has one of the world's busiest rail networks.

In May last year more than 100 people were killed when a Mumbai-bound express train jumped off the tracks into the path of an oncoming goods train in West Bengal. The tracks had been apparently sabotaged by Maoist rebels.

And in July 2010, more than 60 people were killed when a speeding passenger express hit another train waiting at a station in West Bengal.

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