At least 25 passengers were feared killed as a goods train rammed into the stationary Indore-Gwalior Inter-city express at Badarwas railway station in Madhya Pradesh on Monday.
The accident in Shivpuri district, which occurred 175 km west of Gwalior around 4.30 am, was blamed on the station master.
Fifteen bodies have been recovered from the accident site and rescue workers were cutting two mangled coaches to extricate trapped passengers, said Raj Kumar Pathak, collector of Shivpuri.
According to Divisional Railway Manager ( Bhopal) Ghanshyam SIngh, the station master of Badarwas failed to signal the goods train to halt. The accused is absconding.
Local residents said the station master was often found drunk while on duty and that could be the reason why he failed to act on time. Liquor bottles were found from his cabin, television footage showed.
The death toll could rise as the condition of at least 17 injured passengers was critical. They were being treated at hospitals in Guna and Shukri, said Piyush Mathur, chief public relations officer of Western Railways.