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#Chronicles-Latest Update : 90 killed in Indian train derailment, toll set to rise.

At least 90 people were killed and 70 injured when several carriages of an Indian express train derailed in northern Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, with the toll set to rise amid a desperate scramble to locate survivors from the mangled wreck, senior railway officials said. 


Fourteen carriages of the train, traveling between the northeastern city of Patna and the central city of Indore, were thrown off track in Pukhrayan, 65 kilometers south of Kanpur city, according to railway officials.

TV footage showed badly mangled blue carriages, with crowds of people and police on top of the wreckage searching for survivors. One carriage was almost lying on its side, and appeared to have been completely torn apart.

Rescue officials with yellow helmets were working their way through the crowds, carrying victims from the mangled wreckage as teams struggled to remove the derailed wagons from the tracks, one of the main transportation routes for goods and passengers in northern India.


"Still many more passengers are trapped," Anil Saxena, a senior railway official in New Delhi told Reuters.

The packed train, operated by the Indian government, derailed in the early hours of Sunday when more than 500 passengers were sleeping, survivors said.

"Suddenly I could feel that the carriage was overturning. I immediately held the metal rod near the bathroom door," said Faizal Khan who was traveling with his wife and two children, all of whom survived the accident.

Two senior police officials in Kanpur said their teams have been able to pull out 60 bodies from the badly damaged carriages.

"Our aim is to rush all the injured to the hospital in the next two hours and we are seeking help from private hospitals," said additional director general Daljeet Singh Choudhary.

Buses are being pressed into service to help passengers complete their journey, Singh said.


The death count is likely to rise as rescuers look through the wreckage, according to witnesses and officials.

"I can see bodies lying near the tracks, everyone is in a state of shock. There is no water or food for us," said Rajdeep Tanwar, a survivor.

Suresh Prabhu, India's Railways Minister, said in a tweet the government would immediately investigate the causes of the derailment and promised accountability with the "strictest possible action." 


Prabhu said the government would offer 350,000 rupees ($5,133.43) to families of the dead, as well as 50,000 rupees in case of grievous injury and 25,000 in case of simple injury.

India's creaking railway system is the world's fourth largest, ferrying more than 20 million people each day, but it has a poor safety record, with thousands of people dying in accidents every year, including in frequent train derailments.

Derailments and accidents have been a frequent occurrence, including an incident in Uttar Pradesh - India's most populous state - in March last year that killed 39 people. Heavy rains in the eastern state of Andhra Pradesh in 2005 caused a train to derail, with some carriages plunging into a river, killing more than 100.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who started out selling tea outside a train station, has promised to modernize India's railways and build high-speed engines befitting Asia's third-largest economy.

By some analyst estimates, the railways need 20 trillion rupees ($293.34 billion) of investment by 2020, and India is turning to partnerships with private companies and seeking loans from other countries to modernize its network.

Last year, Japan agreed to provide $12 billion of soft loans to build India's first bullet train.

On Sunday Modi took to Twitter to express his condolences.

"Anguished beyond words on the loss of lives due to the derailing of the Patna-Indore express. My thoughts are with the bereaved families," Modi said.
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