A Look at Some of the Deadliest Rail Crashes in India’s Recent History

The train crash that killed at least 288 people, and injured hundreds more, in India is remarkable even in a country with a long history of train deaths.

In 2021 alone, there were more than 16,000 train-related deaths in India, according to the country’s National Crime Records Bureau, a figure that includes cases in which people were struck while walking on tracks or fell out of moving trains.

Here is a look at some of the worst crashes in recent years.

  • The deadliest accident in the history of Indian rail is believed to have been in 1981, when a passenger train derailed as it was crossing a bridge in the state of Bihar. Its cars sank into the Bagmati River, killing an estimated 750 passengers; many bodies were never recovered.

  • In 1999, a crash in West Bengal killed about 285 people as two trains collided head-on.

  • In 2005, at least two dozen people were killed when a crowded passenger train slammed into a stationary cargo train in the western state of Gujarat.

  • Scores died when a mail train derailed in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, east of New Delhi, in 2011.

  • In 2016, more than 100 passengers died in another Uttar Pradesh derailment.

  • In 2018, dozens of people were mowed down by a speeding train in the northwestern state of Punjab as they celebrated a Hindu festival with fireworks.

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