Thousands die on trains in India
Apr 01,2009 00:00 by UPI

MUMBAI -- An average of 17 people died every weekday commuting to work on overcrowded trains in Mumbai last year, figures released by the government indicate.

Using India's Right to Information Act, The Times of London obtained figures showing there were 4,357 fatalities involving Mumbai's suburban rail network in 2008.

The majority of deaths, 3,443, resulted from people being mowed down by trains while crossing the tracks.

The second highest cause of death was passengers who fell or were pushed from train cars that have no doors and travel at 40 miles an hour, The Times reported Wednesday.

Forty-one people died after being bludgeoned by trackside poles while hanging out of overcrowded trains while power lines electrocuted 21 people who were riding on the roof of train cars.

People use the trains because of severe congestion on Mumbai's roads.

"A 45-minute train journey across town can easily take more than two hours by car," says news photographer Indranil Mukherjee.

Copyright © 2009, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.