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PASSENGER TRAIN HITS BUS; AT LEAST 35 DIE, 60 HURT

A passenger train rammed into a bus that tried to dash through a railroad crossing Wednesday, killing at least 35 people and injuring 60 more. Witnesses said people, some of them on fire, jumped out of windows after the crash.

All the dead and injured were aboard the bus, which the train dragged for about 100 yards before the bus burst into flames.

The private passenger bus was apparently racing another bus when it zipped past a warning gate and tried to cross a railroad track at Polgahawela, 50 miles northeast of the capital, Colombo.

"Our initial investigation suggests that two buses were competing with each other to reach Colombo faster," said police spokesman Rienzie Perera.

Both the driver and conductor of the bus were arrested Wednesday after authorities found them at a hospital. Police were guarding them from angry survivors.

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