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Timeline: India's worst rail accidents

Workers clear the wreckage of the Rajdhani Express which derailed over a bridge last September.
Workers clear the wreckage of the Rajdhani Express which derailed over a bridge last September.

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(CNN) -- India's massive rail network is hit by an average of 300 accidents a year. With more than 11,000 services running daily carrying more than 11 million passengers on more than 100,000 kilometers of track, observers and railway officials say the safety record is relatively good.

The following is a brief rundown of some of India's worst rail accidents in recent years:

(Note: the rundown does not include bomb or arson attacks)

May 15, 2003 -- A fire breaks out in a rear car of the Golden Temple Express. At least 36 people die from the blaze.

January 3, 2003 -- Three cars from an express passenger train in south-central Maharashtra state derail. At least 18 people are killed and the accident is blamed on human error.

December 21, 2002 -- A sabotaged sheared rail was behind the derailment of the Bangalore Express. Nine cars ran off the tracks, killing 19 and injuring almost 100.

September 10, 2002 -- A car plunges into the River Dhave after the Kolkata-to-New Delhi Rajdhani Express derails over a colonial-era bridge in northeastern Bihar state. Two other cars are left dangling precariously. Over 120 people are killed and the accident is blamed on poor maintenance and lax enforcement of safety standards.

May 31, 2001 -- Train collides with a bus on an unmanned level crossing about 200km north of the Uttar Pradesh capital, Lucknow. 31 killed, dozens more injured

December 2, 2000 -- Howra Mail, traveling from Calcutta to Amritsar, rams a Delhi-bound freight train that had been derailed minutes earlier. 44 dead and 140 injured

August 3, 1999 -- Brahmaputra Mail train en route to New Delhi slams into the idle Awadh-Assam Express traveling from New Delhi at Gaisal in West Bengal. 285 dead, 312 injured

November 26, 1998 -- Frontier Mail collides with the Sealdah Express at Khanna in Punjab state. 189 dead, 120 injured

Rail officials say that safety on India's massive network is steadily improving
Rail officials say that safety on India's massive network is steadily improving

September 14, 1997 -- Ahmedabad-Howrah express comes off the rails and plunges into a river at Bilaspur, Madhya Pradesh. 81 dead, more than 100 injured

May 14, 1996 -- Ernakulam-Kayakulam Express collides with a bus at a level crossing near Allapuzha in the southern state of Kerala. 35 dead, more than 50 injured

April 18, 1996 -- Gorakhpur-Gonda Express smashes into goods train at Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. 60 dead, at least 80 injured

August 20, 1995 -- New Delhi-bound Purshottam Express rams the packed Kalindi Express stopped on the tracks at Firozobad, in Uttar pradesh 250 dead, over 200 injured

December 21, 1993 -- Kota Bina Express collides with a freight train in Chhabra, Rajasthan. 71 dead, dozens injured

April 16, 1990 -- Train catches fire near the city of Patna, capital of the state of Bihar. 70 dead, many more treated for serious burns

February 23, 1985 -- Two compartments on a local train catch fire at Rajnandango in the state of Madhya Pradesh. 50 dead, dozens injured

June 6 1981 -- India's worst rail accident to date occurs when a cyclone blows a train off its tracks and into a river in the state of Bihar. 800 dead, over 100 injured


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