A high-speed train today plowed into a crowd of pilgrims crossing the tracks at a remote station in east India. As many as 37 are dead, and more than 40 injured in the carnage. Officials noted the pilgrims were crossing the tracks illegally.
The Rajya Rani Express was given the clearance to pass through the three-track station in the east Indian state of Bihar. However, hundreds of pilgrims visiting a local temple had alighted from two other trains and were crossing the tracks when the high speed train ran them over. The devotees thought they would be able to stop the train.
The driver pulled the emergency brake but could not stop the train in time, according to a railway ministry official.
An enraged mob attacked two train drivers, one of whom has reportedly died. They also set the train and another local train on fire. Relief efforts were stalled for hours because of mob protests.
Although the railway ministry is not inclined to compensate victims as they were illegally crossing the tracks, the state's chief minister has demanded that the families of the victims be provided compensation.
Indians took to Twitter to protest against the violent riot incited by the mob. The Times reported that the train driver may have been lynched by the crowd.
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at email@example.com.
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