21 Feb '12, 8am
15,000 die each year crossing India's rail tracks
NEW DELHI (AFP) - Almost 15,000 people are killed every year crossing India's rail tracks in what a government report has described as an annual 'massacre' due to poor safety standards. Pedestrians guilty of 'unlawful trespassing' walk across the tracks at many unofficial crossing points, the report said, adding that about 6,000 of the deaths occur in the congested and frenetic city of Mumbai alone. 'No civilised society can accept such massacre on their railway system', the report said, adding that efforts to improve safety needed to be put on a 'war footing' to tackle the death toll. The fatalities equate to 41 people a day across India on the rail network, which carries 18 million people daily and is still the main form of long-distance travel despite fierce competition from private airlines.