An Indian passenger train derailed Wednesday, killing as many as 20 people and injuring scores more, officials said.
An Associated Press photograph showed a passenger coach dangling from a railway bridge. According to CNN, an engine and three passenger cars from the train – known as the Matsyagandha Express – fell off the 65-foot tall bridge after the locomotive jumped the tracks.
A boulder that washed onto the tracks may be to blame for the derailment, various accounts indicate.
The stretch of tracks – known as the Konkan route – is considered by many to be one of the most scenic in the world. The wreck happened in a western state known as Maharashtra and between the cities of Karanjadi, according to an Associated Press story.
Last year, 51 people were killed in a similar accident along the same line, CNN reported.
“After last year’s accident we had taken special sanction from the ministry to do a complete engineering solution to cover cuttings,” IndiaExpress.com quoted Managing Director of Konkan Railways B Rajaram as saying. “Everybody agreed it will be protective. So, all cuttings above 10 meters were covered with high strength steel nets. An area of three lakh square meter was covered.”
The wreck, Rajaram said, was “nature humbling man.”
The death toll was expected to rise, some officials said. The exact number of passengers varied according to different news accounts.
— Todd DeFeo