The death toll on Mumbai’s railways averages a dozen a day—more than a whole year on New York’s subway system, which has an average annual accidental death rate of eight.
Mumbai’s rail system brings 6.5 million commuters into the city every day, six times the traffic of New York trains. The result, railway officials say, is trains packed to 2.5 times capacity during rush hour—which here in India’s financial capital is called “super dense crush load time.” Railway cars designed for 200 passengers are crammed with 500 at peak times.
Last year’s total toll was 3,997 deaths and 4,307 injuries. Many of the victims had been hanging on the side of the packed trains, unable even to wedge themselves inside, and fell to their deaths after losing their grip.