65 killed as suspected rebel "sabotage" derails India train
At least 65 passengers were killed Friday in a suspected attack by Maoist rebels that led to the derailment of 13 coaches of an express train in India's eastern state of West Bengal, officials and news reports said.
Five coaches of the Mumbai-bound train that derailed in the West Midnapore district fell on another track, hitting a speeding goods train, Railway Minister Mamata Bannerjee told reporters at the site.
"Sixty-five bodies have been recovered from the spot," state Home Secretary Samar Ghosh said in the state capital, Kolkata. "The death toll could go up."
Ghosh said more than 200 passengers were injured, many extricated from the mangled coaches, and were being moved to hospitals from the site of the derailment, about 135 kilometres south-west of Kolkata, DPA reported.
Meanwhile, police officials told local news outlets that preliminary investigations had shown that a section of the track was removed.
"We suspect that it is a case of sabotage [by Maoist rebels]," senior Indian Railways official Vivek Sahai said. "The driver of the train has reported to have heard a loud sound. There was definite tinkering with the tracks."