A passenger train crashed into another train's rear carriage reserved for women and disabled passengers, killing 21 people and injuring 17 who remained trapped for hours Wednesday near the Taj Mahal in northern India, police said.
Rescuers used gas cutters to open the wrecked compartment to free trapped passengers following the collision near Agra, the site of the famed white-marble monument about 130 miles (210 kilometers) southeast of New Delhi, said Rajesh Bajpai, a railway spokesman, Associated Press reports.
Indian Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee ordered an inquiry into the crash, according to CNN's sister station in India, CNN-IBN.
The Goa Express, bound for New Delhi from the western coastal state of Goa, was running on the same track as the Mewar, which shuttles between New Delhi and Udaipur, in western Rajasthan state. Both trains have stops in Mathura, about 90 miles south of New Delhi.
Rescuers had to cut trapped passengers from a wrecked car of the Mewar Express. The car had a special compartment for women, disabled passengers, cargo and train guards, said Aditya Verma, a senior police official in Mathura, CNN informs.
The accident occurred about 98 miles (158 kilometers) south of New Delhi when the train from Goa, in southwest India, plowed into the back of the halted Mewar express, which originated in Udaipur, Rajasthan, Paulson said.
India ’s 63,000-kilometer railway network, Asia’s oldest, carries about 15 million people each day on 11,000 passenger trains. The network also carries more than 1.4 million tons of freight daily, Bloomberg reports.
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