By: J.J. Hitt To: Fred Rice Re: Sacred Cows in traffic * Original To : All, 1:308732 * Ori

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By: J.J. Hitt To: Fred Rice Re: Sacred Cows in traffic * Original To : All, 1:30873/2 * Original From: Robin Murray-o'hair, 1:382/1006 * Original Area: THEIST_WATCH * Original Date: Aug 23 11:02 by Conrad Goeringer This isn't exactly the tale of Casey Jones. The death toll stands at nearly 300, with another 400 people injured Sunday, August 20 is what is being termed possibly the worst train accident in the history of India. It all started when the New Delhi-bound Kalindi Express struck a "sacred" cow one-half mile from a railroad station near the town of Firozabad. According to the rail system's regional manager, the cow's body became entangled in the engine and supposedly damaged the locomotive's brake system. A second train known as the Pureshotham Express, also headed for New Delhi, then slammed into the stopped Express. There were a total of 2,200 passengers on both trains, most of them asleep at the time of the collision. But there's more to the story than is being reported in some U.S. media. Some wire service reports are emphasizing the poor condition of India's rail system, which still has old track and switching equipment. That may not have been a major factor in this particular accident, however. Early reports suggested that the first train engineer wad distraught and embarrassed over hitting a cow, a "sacred" animal in India's Hindu superstition, and began slowing the train down to check on the condition of the holy bovine. Nothing about defective breaks, or any accident to the breaking system, was noted. In any case, cows wander the streets, fields and even railroad right-of-ways throughout India, and are revered as sacred objects, often shown more consideration and care than those human beings ostracized by India's notorious Hindu caste system. This isn't the first time cows have been responsible for human carnage. In 1981, a crash involving one of the sacred animals killed more than 200 people when a train crashed into a river. --30-- ----------------------------------------------------------- THEISTWATCH An educational service provided by American Atheists, P O Box 140195, Austin, TX 78714-0195, Telephone (512) 458-1244, FAX: (512) 467-9525, BBS: (512) 302-0223, Fidonet 1:382/1006. For information on American Atheists, e-mail: info@atheist.org.

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