Indian Train Derails; 16 Dead

At least 16 people were killed and dozens injured when six cars of a speeding passenger train derailed Monday in central India, the railroad minister said.

The train, which was traveling from the north Indian city of Varanasi to the central city of Gwalior, derailed near the town of Datia, Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav (search) told reporters.

Six cars and the engine derailed, killing at least 16 people, Yadav said.

Datia is 200 miles south of New Delhi (search).

At least 36 people were injured and several others were trapped in badly mangled coaches, said Caroline Khongwar (search), Datia's top official.

Yadav said train apparently derailed because the train was speeding.

According to preliminary reports, the train was running at 55 mph as it approached the Datia station, Yadav said. The speed limit along that stretch of track is 9 mph.

Rail accidents are frequent in India, home to one of the largest rail networks in the world; rail safety standards are poor.