50 killed in Sri Lanka train-bus collision

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The Independent Online

An intercity passenger train collided with a bus in north-western Sri Lanka today, killing at least 50 people and injuring 40 others, police said.

An intercity passenger train collided with a bus in north-western Sri Lanka today, killing at least 50 people and injuring 40 others, police said.

The passenger bus apparently ignored signals of an oncoming train and tried to cross the railroad track near the town of Alawwa, 50 miles northeast of Colombo, when it was hit by the train, police spokesman Rienzie Perera said.

Police at the scene confirmed that at least 50 people died, while 40 others were injured, 30 of them seriously, Perera said. Seriously injured victims were being brought to National Hospital in the capital, Colombo, he said.

"There are bodies here and there," Perera said.

Sri Lankan army soldiers were being deployed to the scene to help with rescue work, military spokesman Brig. Daya Ratnayake said.

The train was travelling from the capital Colombo to the temple city of Kandy when the accident took place.

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