Japan ready to use force
Teams work to identify India train victims
The death toll from India’s worst train accident in years rose to 145 yesterday, as rescuers used cranes to lift the twisted metal wreckage to check for more bodies underneath.
The passenger train was about midway through a 27-hour journey between the cities of Indore and Patna when it slid off the tracks at 3.10am on Sunday. The impact was so strong that one of the coaches landed atop another, crushing the one below. Passengers were jolted awake and said they heard the crash as they were flung from their beds.
“There was a loud sound like an earthquake. I fell from my berth and a lot of luggage fell over me,” Ramchandra Tewari, who suffered a head injury, said from his hospital bed in the city of Kanpur. “I thought I was dead, and then I passed out.” Rescue workers, soldiers and members of India’s disaster management force worked through the night to pull out people trapped amid the twisted metal and overturned coach- es near Pukhrayan, a village outside Kanpur about 400km southeast of New Delhi.
By yesterday morning, they had searched the last of the 14 wrecked cars, but had yet to lift the coach from the tracks to see if more bodies had been trapped beneath. “The search operation at the site is almost over. I’m saying ‘almost,’ because they are trying to lift the coach with the help of cranes, and check if there are any bodies,” Indian Railways spokesman Anil Saxena said.
“We can be sure only after the coach is lifted up and removed from the track.”
The accident killed at least 145, of which 116 had been identified, according to Dr. Aneeta Singh, the chief medical officer of Kanpur Dehat district.
Roughly 226 people were hurt, including 76 with serious injuries, according to local police Inspector General Zaki Ahmad. Medical teams provided first aid near the site, while those in more serious condition were moved to hospitals.
350 Japanese peacekeepers, with a broader mandate to use force, land in South Sudan, the first overseas deployment of the country's troops with those expanded powers in nearly 70 years.
TREATMENT: Two survivors share a hospital bed