Runaway train rolls for miles in India without engine

Passengers board an overcrowded train at a railway station in Ajmer, India, in this October 23, 2016 file photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 09 April 2018

Runaway train rolls for miles in India without engine

  • Runaway carriages rolled for 12 kilometers
  • None of the train's 1,000 passengers were injured

NEW DELHI: India’s railway ministry said Sunday a “ghastly” accident was narrowly avoided after 22 train coaches carrying some 1,000 passengers became detached from the engine and sped backwards for miles before being stopped.
The runaway carriages in the eastern state of Odisha rolled for 12 kilometers (seven miles) before being brought to a shuddering halt by rocks placed on the tracks by railway staff.
A spokesman for the railway ministry’s eastern division said none of about 1,000 passengers were injured in the incident Saturday night.
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 JP 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 told AFP, adding “more heads are likely to roll.”
“Everybody in the railways (ministry) is aghast and shocked.”
Mobile footage posted on social media showed the carriages speeding past a railway platform as helpless onlookers screamed and yelled at passengers to pull the train’s emergency brake.
More than 22 million passengers commute daily on some 9,000 trains across India.
The incident is just latest to beset the creaking rail network, which dates back to the colonial era.
Last November 13 coaches of an express train derailed in northern India, killing three and leaving nine injured.
A year before that, 146 people died in a similar disaster.
A 2012 government report said almost 15,000 people were killed in various ways every year on India’s railways and described the loss of life as an annual “massacre.”


Two dead in knife attack in French church, official says terrorism suspected

Updated 4 min 5 sec ago

Two dead in knife attack in French church, official says terrorism suspected

PARIS: French police say two people have been killed and several others injured in a knife attack near a church in the Mediterranean city of Nice.
The assailant was arrested after the Thursday morning attack and taken to a nearby hospital after being injured during his arrest, a police offical said. He was believed to be acting alone, the official said. She was not authorized to be publicly named.

 

Video footage shows police entering the church in Nice where the attack is thought to have been carried out. (Twitter)

A police source told Reuters a woman was decapitated, French politician Marine Le Pen also spoke of a decapitation having occurred in the attack. However, Arab News cannot independently confirm these reports. 

There have been unconfirmed reports that at least one of the victims was decapitated. (Twitter)
The reason for the attack is unclear. It comes as France is under high alert for terrorist attacks.
The lower house of parliament suspended a debate on new virus restrictions and held a moment of silence for the victims.