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At least 19 dead after train crashes into school bus in India

Some 18 children on their way to school have been confirmed dead so far.

Locals and relatives of victims stand on the schoolbus crushed by a train in the Medak district of India.
Locals and relatives of victims stand on the schoolbus crushed by a train in the Medak district of India.
Image: Mahesh Kumar/AP/Press Association Images

EIGHTEEN CHILDREN WERE killed this morning when a train crashed into their school bus at an unmanned railroad crossing in southern India, police said.

The bus driver also died while another 20 children aged between 7 and 14 were injured and hospitalized, 15 of them in critical condition, said Telangana state education minister G. Jagdishwar Reddy.

They were on their way to the school Thursday morning when the train hit the bus, dragging it several hundred feet (about 100 metres) along the tracks in the Medak district in Telengana state, Nallamala said.

The death toll from today’s accident seems likely to rise, however, with Indian news sources reporting 26 fatalities, 25 of them schoolchildren.

Hundreds of angry villagers rushed to the scene, 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana state.

Some of them hurled stones at police as shocked parents grieved their loss.

A father who lost both of his children suffered a heart attack and died after hearing the news of the collision, said state Irrigation Minister T. Harish Rao.

India Deadly Crash Locals and relatives of victims gather at the site of the accident. Source: Mahesh Kumar A.

The area is nearly 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) south of New Delhi.

Accidents are common on India’s railroad network, one of the world’s largest, with 23 million people riding daily on about 11,000 passenger trains. Most accidents are blamed on poor maintenance and human error.

Source: Google Maps

There are hundreds of unmanned crossings across the country, especially in remote areas.

Poor finances limit efforts by rail authorities to staff the dangerous crossings around the clock.

Additional reporting by Dan Mac Guill

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