CHANDIGARH:Two British nationals, both women, were killed and at least eight others were injured when two coaches of a chartered toy train hired by a group of 37 foreigners derailed near Kalka on Saturday afternoon on the Kalka-Shimla rail track.
“The accident occurred when the train was about 3.5 km from Kalka. Two persons have died in the accident. The train was hired by a group of 37 foreigners through an agent. One coach derailed fully while another derailed partially. The administration provided immediate relief to the injured and they were rushed to the PGI here. The Railways also provided ambulances and other necessary assistance,” Divisional Railway Manager, Northern Railways, Ambala, Dinesh Kumar said.
The Kalka-Shimla railway, a Unesco World heritage Site, is a narrow gauge service which mainly covers the mountainous route from Kalka to Shimla.
Sources said that the accident occurred around 1.20 pm near HPMC Juice factory. Prima facie over-speeding seemed to have caused the accident.
Raaja Bhasin, a Shimla-based historian, was also travelling on the ill-fated train, “The accident occurred just 10 minutes after the departure of the train from the Kalka station,” Bhasin said.
Northern Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Neeraj Sharma said that the train was booked by a group of foreigners mainly from Britain.“The reason behind the incident is yet to be ascertained. It might have been a problem in the track or in the coach. There is a possibility that an animal suddenly came on the track or rocks were falling leading to the derailment,” Sharma said.