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Runaway train in India travels more than 40 miles without driver

by Staff

AFP

The train traveled without a driver for around an hour and a half.


New Delhi
CNN
 — 

A runaway freight train in northern India traveled nearly 45 miles without a driver on Sunday, reaching speeds of up to 46 miles per hour, before it was brought to a stop, according to railway officials.

The train’s adventure was captured in a video that has since gone viral on social media, showing it moving quickly along the tracks near a station platform.

No one was injured by the runaway train and it was eventually stopped using emergency brakes and by placing stones on the track, preventing a major accident.

The train rolled for about 1.5 hours, from Kathua railway station in the state of Jammu and Kashmir before finally stopping in Hoshiarpur district in Punjab state, Prateek Srivastava, director for the Ministry of Railways in Jammu and Kashmir, told CNN on Monday.

“Due to reasons unknown, the (locomotive) pilot and the assistant pilot got off. As soon as they left, the train started rolling down. They could not get on to it,” he added.

The train was eventually diverted onto a path with an uphill gradient, said Srivastava. “We knew gravity would help us,” he added.

At least four people have been suspended following an inquiry into the incident, and a high-level investigation is currently underway at Kathua Railway Station.

In April 2018, a runaway train carrying up to 1,000 passengers rolled for several miles before being brought to an emergency stop.

Video on social media shows the train, which was traveling from the western state of Gujarat to Odisha state in the east, speeding past stations as onlookers and passengers screamed helplessly.

The train was eventually stopped after railway workers placed wooden wedges on the tracks, bringing it to a crunching halt.

None of the estimated 1,000 passengers was injured in the incident and the train reached its final destination two hours behind schedule.

India’s extensive rail network, one of the largest in the world, was built more than 160 years ago under British colonial rule. Today, it runs about 11,000 trains every day over 67,000 miles of tracks in the world’s most populous nation.

In June last year, India suffered one of its deadliest ever rail disasters, when two passenger trains and a freight train collided in Odisha state, killing at least 275 people and injuring more than 1,000.

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