Published: Sat, August 19, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

20 killed, 50 injured after passenger train derails in India

20 killed, 50 injured after passenger train derails in India

The deadly train derailment in India's Uttar Pradesh could be the result of sabotage, Chief Public Relations Officer of Northern Railway Neeraj Sharma told Sputnik on Saturday.

Railways spokesman Anil Saxena said he could not confirm the number of casualties but said at least five carriages derailed.

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

Authorities have rushed police teams and disaster response force personnel to the spot to intensify rescue work.

'We have mobilised all our resources to provide the best relief and rescue operations at this time, ' Saxena told TV channels.

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.

Pictures from the scene showed how parts of the carriages had ripped away.

Train accidents are fairly common in India. Dozens of children died in a hospital there that had run out of oxygen.

In January this year 39 people were killed and over 50 injured in train derailment in southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

A government report in 2012 said nearly 15,000 people were killed every year on India's railways.

In January almost 40 people were killed when eight coaches and the engine of a passenger train derailed in the forest area of southern Andra Pradesh.

India's state railways, built during British colonial rule, have an appalling safety record after decades of low investment and have prioritized keeping fares low for the 23 million passengers who use the network every day.

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