A passenger train rammed into a stationary train near Arakkonam junction, 75 km from Chennai at 9.30 pm on Tuesday, killing 15 people in the accident. More than 50 passengers were injured and officials say the number may go up as many were still trapped inside the train.
Railways minister Dinesh Trivedi has announced a compensation of 500,000 rupees for the dead, 100,000 rupees for the seriously injured and 25,000 rupees for those with minor injuries.
Two teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been rushed to the accident site but the rescue operation was hampered due to heavy rains and lack of light at the scene, reports said.
The injured are currently being treated at the Arakkonam Government Hospital.
The reason of the accident is unknown but initial official version said it was human error and the driver of the train which hit the stationary train is alive and is being treated at the hospital. Once, the driver's condition is stable he will be questioned to find out the reason behind the accident, officials said.
Media reports suggest that the train traffic on the Chennai-Katpadi section has been disrupted and several trains leaving Chennai Central were affected.