Indian passenger train the Hampi Express rammed into a parked freight train on Tuesday in southern India, catching fire and killing at least 25 people.
It took rescue workers about six hours to pull around 70 survivors from the train's wreckage near the southwestern border of Andhra Pradesh state, reported the Associated Press. Traumatized survivors were given drinking water at the scene as mothers cried while searching for lost children. Some witnesses said they saw victims on fire.
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"When the train stopped with a loud bang, I got down to see burning passengers crying for help," said Munijayendra, a 25-year-old marketing executive, according to the AP. "The worst part is we were helpless, as the heat was just unbearable."
Most of the victims were laborers coming from Hubli and Hospet in Karnataka and were on their way to Bangalore, reported the Hindustan Times.
The Hampi Express driver slammed on the emergency breaks when he saw the cargo train stopped on the tracks ahead, causing four of the Express's cars to derail, said The Times of India. The first car caught fire, burning the 17 people inside to death. There were reports that the fire was caused by gas spilled from bikes kept in one of the cars.
Additional director general of police (railways) VSK Kaumudi said the death toll could have been much higher had the Hampi Express driver not applied the emergency breaks, according to the Daily Mail. Reports said there was an error in the signaling system that didn't divert the passenger train to the adjacent track.