The accident happened when the train was travelling from Patna to Indore derailed on Sunday.
By: Roshni Kapur
At least 115 people were killed and more than 150 were hurt after a train derailment in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The death toll is expected to increase if survivors are not found.
The accident happened when fourteen carriages of the Indore-Patna Express were thrown off the tracks on Sunday. The accident happened close to Kanpur district in Uttar Pradesh.
The rescue workers are looking for people trapped inside and reclaiming the bodies of the dead from the mangled coaches.
Officials are still investigating what caused the derailment of the 14-carriage train. The Times of India has quoted other media outlets that a crack in the track may have caused the derailment.
Most of the casualties were found in two carriages close to the engine which reversed and were broke. By Sunday afternoon, rescue teams were still using heavy equipment to look out for survivors.
“We are using every tactic to save lives but it’s very difficult to cut the metal carriages,” senior railway official Pratap Rai was quoted in an online article on Reuters.
Survivors have said that they were woken up by a large bang and were thrown around when the accident happened.
Krishna Keshav, who was one of the passengers in the train was quoted in an online article on 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.”
Relatives of the missing have congregated at the railway station in Indore where the train started from.
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.”
Suresh Prabu, India’s railway minister also responded to the accident where he said he was “personally monitoring the situation closely”.
India’s National Disaster Response Force is currently supervising the rescue operation according to the country’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The city of Kanpur is a key railway interchange where hundreds of trains travel through it on a daily basis. However, railway accidents are relatively common across the country due to the lack of safety and obsolete train equipment.
In March 2015, an accident in Uttar Pradesh killed 39 people and maimed 150. In the same year, the government said that it will spend US$137bn over a course of five years to ramp up the railways. A 2012 official report revealed that approximately 15,000 people who try to cross the railway tracks are killed annually.