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Five, including Karnataka MLA, die in Andhra Pradesh train accident

Five, including Karnataka MLA, die in Andhra Pradesh train accident

A Member of India's Legislative Assembly (MLA) Venkatesh Nayak and four others were killed on Monday morning when an express train and a granite-laden truck collided at a level crossing in Andhra Pradesh state's Anantapur area, said a report published on Hindustan Times.

At least 25 people are reported to have been injured in this second fatal railway accident this month, which took place in Madakasira — more than 450km from Hyderabad.

MLA Nayak, who belonged to Karnataka, along with truck driver and three others died from the impact of the collision, which also caused four coaches of the Bangalore-Nanded train to derail.

The driver of the truck was allegedly driving at a high speed in an inebriated condition and failed to notice the closed gates at the crossing.

Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu expressed his condolences on Twitter and said that medical relief for the injured has been sent and treatment is under way.

The railway ministry stated in a tweet that the accident was due to the truck driver's negligence.

Earlier this month, two passenger trains derailed after flash floods struck a bridge they were crossing in central India, killing up to 27 people.

Read: 27 dead after two trains derail in India

India's railway network, one of the world's largest, is still the main form of long-distance travel in the vast country, but it is poorly funded and deadly accidents are frequent.

In 2012, a government report said almost 15,000 people were killed every year on India's railways, describing the deaths as an annual "massacre" due mainly to poor safety standards.

India's government has pledged to invest $137 billion to modernise its crumbling railways, making them safer, faster and more efficient.

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