Train dis­as­ter toll rises to 142, more dead feared

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE death toll from In­dia’s rail dis­as­ter rose to 142 yes­ter­day af­ter work­ers toiled through the night re­mov­ing vic­tims from the wreck­age, with grim warn­ings that more bod­ies were trapped in­side.

There was lit­tle hope of finding sur­vivors among the man­gled re­mains of 14 car­riages, which came off the tracks on Novem­ber 20 in a ru­ral district of the north­ern state of Ut­tar Pradesh.

“The ac­tual toll will still be higher and it would be a dif­fi­cult task to iden­tify all the per­sons, par­tic­u­larly those whose bod­ies are very badly dam­aged,” a se­nior lo­cal govern­ment of­fi­cial said on con­di­tion of anonymity.

More than 2000 peo­ple are be­lieved to have been on the train, though many were trav­el­ling with­out re­served seats – or with­out tick­ets at all – mak­ing a pre­cise es­ti­mate im­pos­si­ble.

Emer­gency work­ers with snif­fer dogs moved from car­riage to car­riage look­ing for signs of life as cranes and heavy ma­chin­ery be­gan moving sec­tions of the wreck­age.

A large crowd had gath­ered at the site, with many comb­ing through the bags and clothes strewn across the area in hopes of finding clues to the fate of their loved ones.

The dis­as­ter oc­curred at the peak of In­dia’s mar­riage sea­son, and at least one wed­ding party was on board the train. Lo­cal me­dia said wed­ding clothes, jewellery and in­vi­ta­tion cards could be seen spilling from aban­doned bags.

Hun­dreds of in­jured were be­ing treated in nearby hos­pi­tals, in­clud­ing many young chil­dren who had be­come sep­a­rated from rel­a­tives.

Photo: AFP

Res­cue work­ers and on­look­ers stand nea Pukhrayan in In­dia’s Kan­pur district on feared dead.

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