Over 100 killed as In­dian train de­rails

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

PUKHRAYAN: Emer­gency work­ers raced yes­ter­day to find any more sur­vivors in the man­gled wreck­age of an In­dian ex­press train that de­railed overnight, killing over 100 peo­ple, in the worst dis­as­ter to hit the coun­try’s age­ing rail net­work in years.

Many were sleep­ing when 14 car­riages leapt from the tracks in a re­mote area of Ut­tar Pradesh state, and shocked pas­sen­gers re­called be­ing jolted out of their slum­ber by a vi­o­lent thud.

“I woke up sud­denly around 3.10am and felt a tremor. The train came to a screech­ing halt,” sur­vivor Yaqoob Ahmed told the Hindustan Times from a hospi­tal in the city of Kan­pur.

“All of a sud­den, I was crushed un­der a crowd of peo­ple ... ev­ery­one was scream­ing for help.”

Sur­vivors also told of their des­per­ate search for love­dones on the train, which was car­ry­ing at least one wed­ding party with the mar­riage sea­son in India in full swing.

Hun­dreds of army and po­lice have been de­ployed at the scene, where res­cue work­ers used gas-pow­ered metal cut­ters to slice through se­verely man­gled coaches to try to get to sur­vivors.

“We have been able to pull out 24 peo­ple, out of which five were found to be alive,” said Bri­gadier A. Ch­hib­bar, who is lead­ing the army’s res­cue op­er­a­tions.

“We will carry on day and night, till there is any inkling of even a sin­gle per­son be­ing pulled alive.”

Po­lice said over 100 peo­ple had been killed and another 150 in­jured and rushed to nearby hos­pi­tals, which had been placed on high alert af­ter the early morn­ing dis­as­ter.

It is the worst dis­as­ter since 2010 when a pas­sen­ger train crashed into a freight train in the east­ern state of West Ben­gal, killing 146 and in­jur­ing over 200.

Au­thor­i­ties have launched an of­fi­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ac­ci­dent, which ju­nior rail­ways min­is­ter Manoj Sinha said may have been caused by dam­age to the tracks.

India’s rail­way net­work, one of the world’s largest, is still the main form of long-dis­tance travel in the vast coun­try, but it is poorly funded and deadly ac­ci­dents oc­cur rel­a­tively fre­quently. – AFP

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