How the India Train Crash Unfolded


The New York Times; aerial drone image via Reuters

Investigators of the deadly multi-train crash in India have focused on the possibility that it was caused by an electronic signal system failure. Here’s how officials say the disaster unfolded.

1 Two passenger trains approach

At around 7 p.m. local time, the Coromandel Express passenger train approached from the north at a speed of about 80 miles per hour. A second passenger train, the Yesvantpur-Howrah Superfast Express, approached from the south at about the same time.

2 Coromandel Express veers onto occupied track

The Coromandel Express veered onto an adjacent track occupied by an idled freight train that was loaded with iron ore. An Indian Railways official said that a problem with the signal system was most likely the overall cause of the crash, though investigations were still underway.

3 First passenger train collides with freight train

The Coromandel Express collides with the freight train. The cars at the front of the Coromandel jump off their tracks and form a mangled pile. More than 20 cars from the Coromandel are derailed.

4 Second passenger train is hit

The derailed cars from the Coromandel Express strike the second passenger train as it passes, causing two cars at the end of the second passenger train to derail.

The accident scene stretched more than a thousand feet.

Source: Approximate locations of train cars based on photographs and video from the scene.

The New York Times; satellite image by Airbus



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