Horrific tragedies this week are not confined to the air: A train hit a school bus in the state of Telangana today, killing at least 18 students and their driver. Twenty other children on the bus were injured when the train smashed into it and continued to drag it down the tracks for several hundred feet. The pictures of the wreckage are terrible.
After the crash, local villagers, many of them family members of the children, tried to rescue the survivors. Some were angry and reportedly threw stones at police. And one, whose two children were killed in the crash, is said to have died of a heart attack after hearing the news. As the BBC points out, India’s rail system is highly unregulated, and unmanned crossings, like the one where this crash took place, are responsible for hundreds of deaths a year.
One local news sources says the driver, a substitute, had taken a shortcut. The regular path took the bus over two manned rail crossings. NDTV also reports that the driver was allegedly on his phone at the time of the crash and did not look to see whether a train was coming.