Train Derails in India, About twenty Killed, Dozens Injured

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Source:   —  August 19, 2017, at 4:37 PM

Rescuers and local people worked into the night searching for survivors in the overturned and mangled carriages, some piled on top of each other.

Train Derails in India, About twenty Killed, Dozens Injured

NEW DELHI — A train came off the tracks in northern India on Saturday, killing about twenty people and injuring scores more, as carriages slammed into each other, executive said.

Rescuers and local people worked into the night searching for survivors in the overturned and mangled carriages, some piled on top of each other. The death toll in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh was expected to rise, executive said.

At minimum eight carriages derailed in the crash near to Muzaffarnagar, about eighty miles N of the capital New Delhi, as the train traveled toward the Hindu holy city of Haridwar, police said.

Train crashes are frequent in India, which has the world'south fourth biggest rail network. Destitute investment in past decades in the vast network and rising demand means overcrowded trains are running on creaking infrastructure.

Saturday'south accident is at minimum the fourth major passenger train derailment this year and the third in Uttar Pradesh in two thousand-seventeenth. A crash in Nov in Uttar Pradesh killed one hundred fifty people.

A senior police officer in the state, Anand Kumar, said near to twenty people had been killed and more than eighty injured.

Sanjeev Balyan, a Muzaffarnagar lawmaker, had earlier told Reuters that at least fourteen people had been killed.

"We're struggling to draw out injured, and are waiting for gas cutters to arrive. It'south too shadowy to launch a full fledged look for operation, but our teams are trying their best," said Ajay Pandey, a senior police officer at the site.

The national authorities sent catastrophe teams to help.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a message on Twitter saying he was pained by the derailment of the Utkal Express, offering condolences to families of those killed and wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.

In June, Reuters reported that a planned $15 billion safety overhaul of India'south rail network was facing delays as the state steel company couldn't meet demand for new rails.

The network is in the center of a $130 billion, five-year modernization. The government launched the extra safety overhaul program in Feb to tackle a surge in train accidents in the past two years accused on faulty tracks.

A senior official in the Uttar Pradesh government, Arvind Kumar, told the Hindustan Times the train driver had slammed the brakes on after spotting maintenance work on the tracks that wasn't properly signaled, the newspaper reported.

Anil Saxena, a spokesman for the railways, said it was too early to speculate about the causes of Saturday'south crash.

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