Death Toll in Northern India Train Derailment Jumps to 63

Death Toll in Northern India Train Derailment Jumps to 63

Death Toll in Northern India Train Derailment Jumps to 63

TV footage showed rescue workers using gas cutters and other equipment to slice through severely mangled coaches strewn with suitcases and other luggage.

Ramchandra Tewari, a passenger who suffered a head injury, said he was asleep when he was suddenly flung to the floor of his coach.

Nitika Trivedi, a student who boarded the train with her family from the eastern city of Patna, said images of the bodies of her fellow passengers would long haunt her.

"It restarted, and then we heard a crash". "When we came out of the train, we saw a few coaches had derailed".

The cause of the derailment was not immediately clear.

Train accidents are common in India.

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A view of a derailed train in Kanpur, in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh, in this still image taken from video November 20, 2016.

The impact of the derailment was so strong that one of the coaches landed on top of another, crushing the one below, said Brig.

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.

"We fear there could be many more dead in the lower coach", he said, adding that it was unclear how many people were in the coach.

The Patna-Indore Express train derailed at Purwa, a village near the industrial town of Kanpur early Sunday. Some coaches crumpled as they crashed into others, trapping hundreds of people inside.

Rescuers used gas cutters to open the derailed coaches to reach those trapped inside, while cranes were deployed to lift the coaches from the tracks.

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"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.

More than 120 others have been injured. Of the roughly 150 injured, 72 were in serious condition, he said. "There is no water or food for us", said Rajdeep Tanwar, a survivor.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was "anguished beyond words" by the loss of life in the latest accident.

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.

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

Rail authorities have ordered an investigation into the incident, Saxena said.

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