CHENNAI, India – A passenger train crashed into a minibus carrying local council officials at an unmanned rail crossing in southern India on Monday, killing 11 people and injuring another 12 in the vehicle, police said.
Seven of the injured were hospitalized in serious condition, said I. Raja, an inspector-general of police.
The Press Trust of India news agency earlier reported that 13 people had died in the accident near Thirumatpur, a village in the Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu state. The village is nearly 55 miles southwest of Chennai, the state capital.
The train dragged the minibus for nearly a half a mile before coming to a halt, Raja said.
The driver of the minibus and 10 local council officials died in the accident, and the 12 other passengers — also council officials — were injured, seven of them seriously, Raja said.
The council officials were traveling to Chennai to meet the state's top elected official, M. Karunanidhi, PTI said.
Rail crossings in India generally have attendants who manually raise and lower the guard gates. However, smaller rail crossings are mostly unmanned, and rural buses and other vehicles are often hit by speeding trains.