At least 10 persons died and another 15-20 were injured when the Bokaro Express ran over them at Gotlam, some 50 km from here, on Saturday evening.

Passengers in the Vijayawada-Rayagada passenger train panicked and pulled the chain of their train and rushed out of their train only to come under the Bokaro Express that came around a curve, some 3 km from Gotlam village in the Vizianagaram district, official sources said.

Conflicting reports

There are conflicting reports on why the passengers chose to pull the chain and jump; according to one report, the passengers panicked on hearing rumours of a fire in the adjacent compartment and pulled the chain. Another report said some passengers pulled the chain due to some disturbance in one of the compartments, causing the others to panic.

The passengers jumped out of the train in pitch darkness and were hit by the Bokaro Express speeding along on the adjacent track.

Of the injured, many are said to be in a critical condition.

Officials from the Waltair Division of the East Coast Railways and the district administration rushed to the spot and immediately shifted the injured to hospitals.