Tragedy on the tracks: Remembering the world's deadliest train accidents

Tragedy on the tracks: Remembering the world's deadliest train accidents

Recent train accident in India is reminder of long history of devastating train accidents across the globe

By Saadet Firdevs Apari

ANKARA (AA) - Last week’s train accident in India’s eastern Odisha state which claimed the lives of at least 275 people and left hundreds injured is a reminder of the long history of devastating train accidents across the globe.

The 2004 Sri Lanka tsunami train wreck is the deadliest recorded train disaster in history, claiming the lives of at least 1,700 people. The incident was the result of a devastating tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, which caused severe destruction to railway infrastructure.

In 1981, Bihar, India witnessed the deadliest train crash in the nation's history when a train derailed and plunged into the Bagmati River while crossing a bridge, resulting in the loss of 800 lives.

In 1917, France experienced its worst rail accident when a 19-carriage train carrying approximately 1,000 French troops derailed. More than 700 soldiers died.

In Romania in 1917, more than 700 people lost their lives when a train derailed.

In 1915, a train crash in Mexico resulted in the deaths of over 600 people. The accident, caused by brake failure, involved a train carrying over 900 passengers. Around 300 people were rescued.

In 1989, 575 people were killed in a train accident 50 kilometers (31 miles) east of Ufa, Russia and 800 injured. The accident was allegedly caused when wheel sparks from two passing trains ignited a highly flammable cloud of natural gas that had formed from leaked natural gas liquids from a faulty gas pipeline about a kilometer away, causing a massive explosion that reduced seven carriages to ashes and destroyed the remaining carriages.

A rail accident occurred in Ethiopia in 1985 when an express train with seven cars en route from Dire Dawa to Addis Ababa derailed at a bend due to excessive speed, claiming the lives of over 400 people and leaving 500 injured.

In 1944, the Balvano train disaster in Italy claimed the lives of 517 passengers from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a protracted stall in a tunnel.

In Egypt in 2002, a fire engulfed an 11-car passenger train traveling from Cairo to Luxor during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday. At least 370 people were killed and many others sustained injuries.

In Spain in 1944, a mail train experienced brake failure while passing through a tunnel near the village of Torre del Bierzo in Leon province.

The malfunction resulted in a collision with another train, and subsequently, a coal train consisting of 27 wagons traveling in the opposite direction became involved in the accident. More than 500 people were killed in the three-train collision.

In 2016, a train carrying around 2,000 passengers derailed in India, claiming the lives of 146 people.

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