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Two Britons killed in India train derailment

Two Britons have died after a train derailment in India, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

The train was travelling to the Indian Himalayan town of Shimla when nine carriages came off the track.

Responding to the deaths, Minister for Asia Hugo Swire said: "I am deeply saddened that two British nationals have been killed and many others injured in a train accident in northern India. My thoughts are with their family and friends at this difficult time.

"Teams from the British High Commission in New Delhi and Deputy High Commission in Chandigarh are on their way to the area to help all those affected."

The cause of the derailment is not yet known.

York-based travel company Great Rail Journeys confirmed that one of its escorted groups, travelling from Kalka to Shimla, had been involved in the incident.

Its chief executive officer Peter Liney said that 36 passengers and one tour manager had been on the train and that a number of them had been taken to hospital.

Mr Liney said: "Tragically, we can confirm that two passengers died in the accident.

"We are working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to assist their relatives in travelling to India as soon as possible.

"A number of other passengers were injured in the accident and were taken from the scene to a local hospital.

"Two passengers and the tour manager have been admitted overnight; we do not believe their injuries are life-threatening. All other passengers have now been transferred to a hotel.

"A total of 36 passengers plus one tour manager were on the train when the accident took place. They were all travelling on a 13-day tour of India and were on day three."

The accident took place at 1pm local time and the passengers were travelling on a four-carriage tourist train that had been chartered by Great Rail Journeys for the trip.

The company's local representatives are at the scene and senior staff will be flying out as soon as possible, along with qualified counsellors.

Mr Liney continued: "At present, we do not have any further details to provide and our absolute priority is to support and help the families of those people who have so tragically died, along with those in hospital in India and at the hotel."

The tour, India's Golden Triangle, departed for India on September 10 and was due to finish on September 22.


From Belfast Telegraph