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Chennai train accident: 9 dead, 100 injured; driver jumped signals

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Chennai: The driver of a passenger train in Tamil Nadu was speeding, jumped several signals, and then hit a stationary train about 75 kms from Chennai. Nine people have died and close to 100 are injured, 25 of them seriously. The driver who allegedly caused the accident managed to leap out of his train before the collision, and is in hospital in critical condition.

The accident happened late last night near the Chitheri station, about 90 kms from Chennai. The driver of a train headed from Chennai Beach to Vellore ignored several yellow and red lights before crashing into a passenger train that was parked at the Chitheri station, waiting at a signal for clearance to move ahead.

Both trains were packed with commuters who travel everyday between Chennai and smaller towns for work. A passenger named Shanthi was travelling with her two sons who, like her, are daily wage workers who spend their days in Chennai. "I heard the sound and in a flash I found myself lying on the track. Then co-passengers helped me," she said.

The impact of the collision was so powerful that five coaches from the two different trains were thrown off the track. Villagers who live nearby spent the entire night with rescue officials freeing passengers who were trapped in the debris, and moving them to a local hospital.

Train traffic has been severely impacted. By 4 pm, railway officials say trains will be allowed to head from Chennai to Vellore; trains will be able to arrive in Chennai starting 6 pm.

Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/chennai-train-accident-9-dead-100-injured-driver-jumped-signals-133580?pfrom=home-lateststories&pfrom=home-topstories

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