Death Toll Nears 115 in India Train Sabotage

Railway authorities canceled all night trains in an eastern Indian state Saturday after a passenger express train derailed and was hit by a cargo train, killing at least 115 people and injuring hundreds. The government accused Maoist rebels of sabotaging the tracks, USA Today reports.

More than 140 people with injuries were in hospitals in towns near the accident site, officials said. Railway officials said some bodies were still trapped between the engines of the two trains, which smashed together when the high speed passsenger train derailed and was run over by an oncoming cargo train.

Railway authorities said they would not run any trains at night in West Bengal for at least the next four days, when Indian Maoist rebels have called a general strike, NPR says.

According to Business Week, sabotage by Maoist rebels may have caused the derailment of the Gyaneshwari Express, which was headed for the financial capital of Mumbai, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said yesterday, citing local police. The crash occurred 155 kilometers (96 miles) southwest of Kolkata.

Indian Railways, the operator of Asia’s oldest network, rescheduled some train services, citing a declaration by the Maoists, who have stepped up attacks in recent weeks, of a "Black Week" from May 28 to June 2 to protest against an ongoing government offensive, according to a statement yesterday.

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