121 dead as train derails in Uttara Pradesh
PUKHRAYAN, Uttara Pradesh: Rescuers worked through the night to pull people out of mangled coaches after an overnight Indore-Patna Express train derailed early Sunday, 20th November 2016 near Kanpur in northern India, killing at least 121 people and injuring about 150, police said.
The death toll was expected to rise further because rescue workers had yet to gain access to one of the worst-damaged of the 14 coaches that derailed, said Daljeet Chaudhary, a director general of police. About 150 people were injured, he said.
The train derailed at around 3:10 a.m., jolting awake passengers who had settled in for the long trip. Survivors and bodies were retrieved from mangled coaches that had fallen on their side.
Ramchandra Tewari, a passenger who suffered a head injury, said he was asleep when he was suddenly flung to the floor of his coach.
"There was a loud sound like an earthquake. I fell from my berth and a lot of luggage fell over me," Tewari told reporters from his hospital bed in the city of Kanpur. "I thought I was dead, and then I passed out."
Another passenger, Satish Kumar, said the train was traveling at normal speed when it stopped suddenly.
"It restarted, and then we heard a crash," Kumar, whose coach remained standing on the track, said at the derailment site. "When we came out of the train, we saw a few coaches had derailed."
The cause of the derailment was not immediately clear. Accidents are relatively common on India's sprawling rail network, which is the world's third largest but lacks modern signaling and communication systems. Most accidents are blamed on poor maintenance and human error.
The impact of the derailment was so strong that one of the coaches landed on top of another, crushing the one below, said Brig. Anurag Chibber, who was heading the army's rescue team.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukharji , Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Uttara Pradesh Chief Ministe Akhilesh Yadav and several leaders expressed their shock and grief for accident.