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India train crash: Scores killed in derailment near Kanpur

At least 96 people have been killed after 14 carriages of an Indian express train derailed in northern Uttar Pradesh state, police say.

The incident took place on the Indore-Patna Express just after 03:00 local time on Sunday (21:30 GMT Saturday) near the city of Kanpur.

Rescuers cut their way through the twisted carriages to retrieve bodies and rescue the injured.

More than 150 people have been reported injured.

It was not immediately clear what caused the coaches to derail near the village of Pukhrayan.

Krishna Keshav, who was travelling on the train, told the BBC: “We woke with a jolt at around 3am. Several coaches were derailed, everybody was in shock. I saw several bodies and injured people.”

Train derailment in northern India 20 Nov 

Most of the victims were located in two carriages near the engine which overturned and were badly damaged, reports said.

Rescue workers at the site were using heavy machinery to cut through the carriages to reach survivors.

“Many more passengers are trapped,” said Anil Saxena, a senior railway official in Delhi.

The BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder, in Delhi, says rescuers have recently brought out some survivors, including children, which brought cheers from onlookers.

Some 250 police officials are also at the site.

One passenger whose carriage did not derail told the Associated Press the train was going at normal speed. It stopped suddenly, said Satish Kumar, then restarted shortly before the crash.

Compensation

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Anguished beyond words on the loss of lives due to the derailing of the Patna-Indore express. My thoughts are with the bereaved families.

“Prayers with those injured in the tragic train accident.”

India Kanpur map

Mr Modi said he had spoken to Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, who was “personally monitoring the situation closely”.

On his own Twitter account, Mr Prabhu warned that “strictest possible action will be taken against those who could be responsible for accident”.

He said an investigation into the crash would begin immediately and compensation would be paid to “unfortunate passengers who died and to injured”.


India’s worst rail disasters

The Gaisal train crash in 1999

The Gaisal crash in 1999 killed at least 290 people


  • Bihar, 6 Jun 1981: 250 deaths confirmed as passenger train derails on a bridge and plunges into the Baghmati river. Hundreds more are never found, with estimated death toll ranging from 500 to 800
  • Firozabad, 20 Aug 1995: 358 people are killed as an express train hits a stationary express train
  • Gaisal, Assam, 2 Aug 1999: At least 290 killed as two trains carrying a total of 2,500 people collide
  • Khanna, 26 Nov 1998: At least 212 killed as a train collides with a derailed train
  • Rafiganj, 10 Sept 2002: Rajdhani Express derails on bridge, killing at least 130
  • West Midnapore, West Bengal, 28 May 2010: The Calcutta-Mumbai passenger train derails, killing at least 100. Police blame Maoist sabotage of the track

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that India’s National Disaster Response Force was overseeing the rescue efforts.

Kanpur is a major railway junction and hundreds of trains pass through it every day.
Train accidents are fairly common in India, where much of the railway equipment is out of date. An accident in Uttar Pradesh in March last year killed 39 people and injured 150.
About 23 million passengers everyday use the country’s vast network, the fourth largest in the world.
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