Train kills Indians fleeing fire rumor

AFP-JIJI

An express train on Saturday rammed into a group of passengers in southern India after they leaped from another train following rumors of a blaze, killing at least eight, reports said.

Scores of people were reportedly injured in the accident at Gotlam Station in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The victims were crossing railway tracks after getting off another train in panic following rumors that a fire was racing through the carriages.

“The passengers of the Alleppey-Dhanbad Express train pulled the (emergency) chain and got down. The Raigarh-Vijaywada train running on the other line ran over them,” railway spokesman J.P. Mishra told an Indian television channel.

In 2012, a government report said almost 15,000 people were killed every year on India’s railways. It described the deaths as an annual “massacre” due to poor safety standards.