Kalka-Shimla toy train derails, two foreigners killed

Parwanoo (Himachal Pradesh), Sep 12 (IANS) Two foreigners were killed and five others injured on Saturday when three coaches of a chartered Kalka-Shimla toy train derailed near this Himachal Pradesh town, a police officer said.

The dead were women, an officer at the spot told IANS on the telephone. The injured were admitted to the PGI hospital in Chandigarh, 30 km from the accident spot.

Northern Railway chief public relations officer Neeraj Sharma told reporters in New Delhi that the train was booked by a group of foreigners mainly from Britain. The origins of the two dead people are yet to be established, he added.

Sharma said 37 passengers were on board at the time of the accident.

The police said the train with three engines left Kalka in Haryana at 12.40 p.m. It went off the tracks at Taksal, just six km from Kalka.

The traffic on the 96-km long and a century-old narrow gauge world heritage railroad remained suspended.

“The reason behind the incident is yet to be ascertained. It might be a problem in the track or in the coach. There is a possibility that an animal suddenly came on the track or rocks falling on track leading to the derailment,” Sharma told IANS in New Delhi.

The century-old rail line, built to the then summer capital of British India, has been chosen by Unesco as a world heritage site.

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