Many feared dead as trains collide after blast in India

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A blast hit a passenger train and flung it into the path of a speeding goods train coming from the opposite direction in eastern India early on today, a railway spokesman said, adding many deaths were feared.

The incident occurred in an area known to be a stronghold of Maoist rebels. It comes days after a passenger airliner crashed in southern India, killing 158 people.

The passenger train was going from Mumbai to the eastern metopolis of Kolkata in West Bengal state. The incident occurred in the state's Jhargram area.

"The blast derailed 13 coaches of the Gyaneswari Express. These coaches then fell on the other track where a goods train rammed into some of them," Soumitra Majumdar, a railway spokesman told Reuters.

"We fear many casualties. There could be many people dead. We don't have details yet."