India Freight train travels 70 km without a driver

India: Freight train travels 70 km without a driver

The Indian Railways said on Monday that it had ordered an investigation after a freight train traveled 70 kilometers without a driver in the north of the country.

“We have ordered an investigation,” Northern Railways spokesman Deepak Kumar told AFP the day after the incident, adding that there were no injuries.

On Sunday, around fifty gravel-laden wagons traveled alone at 100 km/h from the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir to Punjab (north) before their mad escape was interrupted by wooden blocks placed on the tracks.

The incident took place at Jammu railway station where the train had parked to allow for a crew change, local media reported. Shortly after the driver and his teammate got out, the train rolled down the slope alone. All level crossings on the route were closed to prevent accidents.

India, which has one of the largest railway networks in the world, has experienced numerous fatal train accidents in its history. However, security has improved in recent years thanks to investments and technological improvements.

The deadliest accident in the country's history remains that of June 6, 1981, when seven carriages of a train crossing a bridge plunged into the Bagmati River in the state of Bihar (east), killing between 800 and 1,000 people.