More than 30 killed in Indian train derailment

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 19, 2016 10:03 PM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - More than 30 people were killed after an Indian train derailed in northern Uttar Pradesh, the nation's biggest state, in the early hours of Sunday, local media reported.

The train was traveling between the northeastern city of Patna and the central city of Indore when the incident happened, throwing several carriages off the track, according to railway officials.

No confirmed casualty figures were immediately available, but a railway official put the death toll at more than 30, while local media reported that at least 45 people were killed and more than 150 injured in the incident.

Indian government officials tweeted the Patna- Indore Express train had derailed near Kanpur, in northern India and that rescue operations were under way.

"Dozens of passengers were injured in the derailment. We don't know what led to the disaster," said a senior railway official R.K Chandra in Kanpur

Suresh Prabhu, India's Railways Minister, said in a tweet the government would immediately investigate the causes of the derailment and promised accountability with the "strictest possible action."

India's creaking railway system is the world's fourth largest, ferrying more than 20 million people each day, but it has a poor safety record, with thousands of people dying in accidents every year.

The nation suffers frequent train derailments, sometimes with tragic consequences, including another train accident in Uttar Pradesh in March last year that killed 39 people and injured 150.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express his condolences.

"Anguished beyond words on the loss of lives due to the derailing of the Patna-Indore express. My thoughts are with the bereaved families," Modi said.

(Reporting by Rupam Jain; Writing by Rafael Nam; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)