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Indian train crash kills 18

The train was traveling between Manmad and Secunderabad

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NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- Three cars from an express passenger train in south-central India derailed early Friday, killing at least 18 people and injuring at least 41 others, railway officials said.

India's railway minister blamed the accident on human error.

"A total failure," said Nitish Kumar, the Indian Railway Minister. "The staff has failed and this was human error."

Five railway officials, including the assistant station master where the derailment occurred, have been suspended pending an inquiry into the accident.

The derailment happened around 1:30 a.m. (3 p.m. ET Thursday) when the engineer of train No. 7065 -- en route from Secunderabad to Manmad -- had to apply the emergency brakes to avoid a train still in the Ghatnandur railway station in Maharashtra state.

Ghatnandur is located about 330 kilometers (205 miles) north of Hyderabad.

The deadly accident came less than two weeks after another derailment in southern India near the city of Kurnool that killed at least 18 people and injured more than 80 others.

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