More than 100 killed as train de­rails in In­dia

Creak­ing rail­way sys­tem has a poor safety record

The Star (Kenya) - - News World -

REUTERS/ More than 100 peo­ple were killed and more than 150 in­jured when an In­dian express train de­railed in north­ern Ut­tar Pradesh yes­ter­day, with the toll set to rise amid a des­per­ate scram­ble to lo­cate sur­vivors from the man­gled wreck.

Po­lice of­fi­cials said about 20 peo­ple were still miss­ing as au­thor­i­ties were try­ing to as­cer­tain what caused 14 car­riages of the train – trav­el­ling be­tween the north­east­ern city of Patna and the cen­tral city of In­dore – to sud­denly roll off the tracks in Pukhrayan, 65km south of Kan­pur city.

Amid scenes of des­per­a­tion and an­guish, sur­vivors were look­ing for fam­ily mem­bers and some were also try­ing to en­ter the dam­aged car­riages to res­cue rel­a­tives and col­lect be­long­ings, said se­nior rail­way of­fi­cial Pratap Rai.

“We are us­ing ev­ery tac­tic to save lives but it’s very dif­fi­cult to cut the metal car­riages,” Rai said from the ac­ci­dent site. With the death toll set to rise fur­ther, the de­rail­ment could be­come In­dia’s worst rail tragedy since 2005, when a train was crushed by a rock and an­other plunged into a river – each killing more than 100 peo­ple.

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, in­clud­ing in fre­quent train de­rail­ments.

Suresh Prabhu, In­dia’s Rail­ways min­is­ter, said in a tweet the gov­ern­ment would im­me­di­ately in­ves­ti­gate the causes of the de­rail­ment.

/REUTERS

An in­jured woman sits at the back of an am­bu­lance at the site of a train de­rail­ment in Pukhrayan, south of Kan­pur city, In­dia, yes­ter­day

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