A passenger train with 22 carriages carrying about 1,000 people became detached from its engine and sped backwards for miles before being stopped, said India’s railway ministry.
The runaway carriages in the eastern state of Odisha rolled for 12 km (seven miles) before being brought to a shuddering halt by rocks placed on the tracks by railway staff.
A spokesman for the ministry’s eastern division said none of about 1,000 passengers were injured in the Saturday night incident.
But seven railway employees who did not follow proper procedures have been suspended and an investigation launched into how the carriages became separated during the journey from the western state of Gujarat to Odisha, said spokesman J.P. Mishra.
Authorities believe that brakes applied when carriages are detached or attached to the engine were either incorrectly used or overlooked altogether.
“Something ghastly could have happened and it was averted by alert staff. Safety cannot be compromised,” Mishra said, adding “more heads are likely to roll.”
“Everybody in the railways (ministry) is aghast and shocked.” – Guardian
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