BOMBAY, India – A train smashed into a tractor carrying wedding guests at a crossing in western India on Thursday, killing at least 52 people and injuring 10 others, a railway official said.
The train did not derail.
The accident occurred near Kanhan, a small town in Maharashtra state about 500 miles northeast of Bombay (search), when a local train bound for the central Indian city of Nagpur collided with a tractor crossing the tracks, said Jagdish Kumar, deputy general manager of South-Eastern Central Railway.
"The death toll has gone up to 52. There were 62 people in the trailer. They were going to attend a marriage. Ten are injured," Kumar told The Associated Press.
Rail crossings in India require an attendant to manually raise and lower the guard gates.
However, Kumar said the crossing where the accident occurred was not manned.
No one was injured on the train, he said.
"The passenger train was traveling at about 45-miles-per-hour and the driver applied the emergency brakes," Kumar said by telephone from Bilaspur, the railway's regional head office.
The accident occurred because the tractor driver failed to see the oncoming train before crossing the tracks, Kumar said.
Train accidents are common in India, where poor safety standards plague the state-run rail network — the world's third-largest after Russia (search) and China.