At least 10 dead in Indian train collision

By Jatindra Dash and Rishika Sadam

BHUBANESWAR/HYDERABAD, India (Reuters) -At least 10 people were killed and about 25 were injured in a collision between two passenger trains in India's Andhra Pradesh state on Sunday, a senior government official said.

The railway ministry said in a statement that two coaches of one of the trains carrying passengers were derailed and a preliminary investigation found that "human error" had led to the collision, caused by "overshooting of signal" by the Visakhapatnam-Rayagada passenger train between Alamanda and Kantakapalle.

Nagalakshmi. S, a senior government official stationed in Vizianagaram, a district near the accident site, told Reuters that 27 people were injured and more than 90 people were travelling in the two coaches hit by the collision.

The accident occurred when the Visakhapatnam-Rayagada passenger train stopped due to a break in an overhead cable and the oncoming train, a Visakhapatnam-Palasa Express service, rammed into it, derailing carriages of the stationary train, a senior railways official said.

Andhra Pradesh's Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy ordered immediate relief measures to be taken and asked for ambulances to be rushed from Visakhapatnam and Anakapalli, the nearest districts to Vizianagaram, his office said in a statement.

The minister also issued orders to coordinate other government departments to initiate disaster-relief measures.

The accident comes just months after India's state-run railways suffered their worst train crash in two decades when 292 people were killed. In that accident, a passenger train hit a stationary freight train, jumped off the tracks and hit another passenger train coming from the opposite direction.

Federal police arrested three railway employees on charges of culpable homicide and causing evidence to disappear.

Indian Railways, the fourth largest train network in the world, is a state monopoly run by the Railway Board. The board reports to the federal Railways Ministry.

The rail network is undergoing a $30 billion transformation with new trains and modern stations under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's push to boost infrastructure and connectivity.

On Sunday, Modi said on social media platform X that he had spoken with the railways minister.

"Authorities are providing all possible assistance to those affected," he said.

(Additonal reporting by Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru; Writing by Rupam Jain; Editing by Alexander Smith, Hugh Lawson and Giles Elgood)