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Timeline: India's worst rail accidents

Rail officials say that safety on India's massive network is steadily improving
Rail officials say that safety on India's massive network is steadily improving  

(CNN) -- India's massive rail network is hit by an average of 300 accidents a year, but despite a number of high profile crashes rail officials say safety is steadily improving with the accident rate falling to 0.57 per million km traveled in 1996/97 - down from 5.5 at the start of the 1960s.

The following is a brief rundown of some of India's worst rail accidents in recent years:

May 31, 2001 -- Train collides with a bus on an unmanned level crossing about 200km north of the Uttar Pradesh capital, Lucknow. 31 killed, dozens more injured

December 2, 2000 -- Howra Mail, traveling from Calcutta to Amritsar, rams a Delhi-bound freight train that had been derailed minutes earlier. 44 dead and 140 injured

August 3, 1999 -- Brahmaputra Mail train en route to New Delhi slams into the idle Awadh-Assam Express traveling from New Delhi at Gaisal in West Bengal. 285 dead, 312 injured

India's overcrowded rail network 

November 26, 1998 -- Frontier Mail collides with the Sealdah Express at Khanna in Punjab state. 189 dead, 120 injured

September 14, 1997 -- Ahmedabad-Howrah express comes off the rails and plunges into a river at Bilaspur, Madhya Pradesh. 81 dead, more than 100 injured

May 14, 1996 -- Ernakulam-Kayakulam Express collides with a bus at a level crossing near Allapuzha in the southern state of Kerala. 35 dead, more than 50 injured

April 18, 1996 -- Gorakhpur-Gonda Express smashes into goods train at Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. 60 dead, at least 80 injured

August 20, 1995 -- New Delhi-bound Purshottam Express rams the packed Kalindi Express stopped on the tracks at Firozobad, in Uttar pradesh 250 dead, over 200 injured

December 21, 1993 -- Kota Bina Express collides with a freight train in Chhabra, Rajasthan. 71 dead, dozens injured

April 16, 1990 -- Train catches fire near the city of Patna, capital of the state of Bihar. 70 dead, many more treated for serious burns

February 23, 1985 -- Two compartments on a local train catch fire at Rajnandango in the state of Madhya Pradesh. 50 dead, dozens injured

June 6 1981 -- India's worst rail accident to date occurs when a cyclone blows a train off its tracks and into a river in the state of Bihar. 800 dead, over 100 injured




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