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Communication Lapse Blamed for Indian Train Crash


Indian railway officials say Tuesday's deadly head-on collision of two passenger trains was apparently caused by a communication lapse.

At least 37 people were killed in the crash, which occurred in a rural area about 300 kilometers northwest of New Delhi, in Punjab state.

Officials say the death toll could still rise as many of the 50 injured passengers remain in serious condition in area hospitals. Indian newspapers say the normal communications system between two train stations broke down hours before the crash and that the two stationmasters were using wireless equipment to communicate.

Indian Railways Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav ordered the suspension of the stationmasters, saying they would face criminal charges for the accident. Accidents are relatively frequent on India's railway network - one of the world's largest.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

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