More than 190 people were killed on November 26, 1998 in one of India's worst train disasters when two passenger trains collided in the northern state of Punjab, in the Ludhiana district. According to initial reports,the disaster occurred after the 10th and 11th coach of the 2903 Frontier Golden Temple Mail, a train from Delhi to Amristar, broke off. Powered by a diesel engine, the first ten coaches of the Frontier Mail moved on towards Ludhiana at 100 km an hour while the remaining seven derailed and fell to their right, on the adjacent track. Within three minutes, another train traveling in the opposite direction, the 3152 Jammu Sealdah Express, from Jammu to Sealdah crashed into the de-railed carriages at 3:35 am. In all, 16 coaches were damaged.
Senior railway and Punjab government officers are supervising the relief operations. Officers of the 103 Air Defence Regiment, commanded by Officer Lt Col H.P. Singh, have also been requisitioned to help with the rescue operation. Railway Minister Kumar has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 25,000 to the next of kin of those who were killed and Rs 4,000 to those injured.
India has the largest rail network under one management in the world.
More than 12 million people ride 14,000 trains across India everyday on
67,000 kilometers of track. India records around 300 accidents a year on
its railways. Most are blamed on human error or outdated equipment.
11-26-98 Two trains collide
11-27-98 Rescue efforts begin to recover bodies, survivors