India train accident kills more than 100 people
AN Indian express train derailed early yesterday, killing over 100 people in one of the country’s worst rail disasters in years, police said, as emergency workers searched the mangled wreckage for survivors.
Shocked passengers recounted being woken by a violent thud, and told of their desperate search for loved ones on the train, which was carrying at least one wedding party with the marriage season in full swing.
“We woke up to a great thud this morning. It was pitch dark and the noise was deafening,” one passenger told reporters as he waited with his family at the scene.
“I am lucky to be alive and safe. It was a near-death experience for us.”
Many were sleeping when 14 carriages leapt from the tracks in a remote area outside the northern city of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh state.
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.
“The death toll has topped 100 now,” said Daljit Singh Chawdhary, the additional police director-general.
Another 150 were injured and rushed to nearby hospitals, which had been placed on high alert after the early morning disaster.
Anxious relatives thronged the station on Indore in central India where the train originated, many clutching pictures of their loved ones.
National Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said in a tweet the government would investigate what caused the derailment and announced compensation for the victims.
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.
Indian rescue workers search for survivors in the wreckage of a train that derailed near Pukhrayan in Kanpur district yesterday.