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Train derails in India, killing hundreds

Train derails in India, killing hundreds

More than 500 passengers are killed when their train plunges into the Bagmati River in India on June 6, 1981. The rail accident—the worst in India to that date—was believed to have been caused when an engineer tried to avoid striking a cow.

The nine-car train, filled with approximately 1,000 passengers, was traveling through the northeastern state of Bihar about 250 miles from Calcutta. Outside, monsoon-like conditions were battering the region. Extremely hard rains were swelling the rivers and making the tracks slick.

As the train approached the bridge over the Bagmati River, a cow crossed the tracks. Possibly seeking to avoid harming the cow, the engineer braked too hard. The cars slid on the wet rails and the last seven cars derailed straight into the river. With the river far above normal levels, the cars sank quickly in the murky waters.

Rescue help was hours away and, by the time it arrived, nearly 600 people had lost their lives. After a multi-day search, 286 bodies were recovered but more than 300 missing people were never found. The best estimate is that close to 600 passengers were killed by the engineer’s decision. Cows are considered sacred animals, according to the Hindu religion.


Train derails in India, killing hundreds - HISTORY

Rescue workers have been searching for people trapped in carriages amid fears the death toll could rise further.

Initial reports suggest an irrigation tank burst, causing a bridge to collapse, derailing seven carriages.

The crash occurred early on Saturday south of Hyderabad, the state capital of Andhra Pradesh.

Heavy rains have killed more than 100 people in south India this week.

The Delta Express crashed near the town of Veligonda in Nalgonda district, about 30km (18 miles) south of Hyderabad.

Seven of the 14 coaches and the engine of the train were derailed and at least three coaches fell into the flood waters.

Divers from the air force and navy used blow torches to cut through the wreckage to free the scores of people still feared trapped. Some survivors were clinging to luggage racks and ceiling fans.

Hundreds of passengers have been rescued so far but television pictures also showed bodies of men, women and children laid out on the banks.

After surveying the site of the crash, India's junior railway minister, R Velu, told a news conference in Hyderabad that "little could have been done to avoid the accident".

The BBC's Omer Farooq, who is at the scene, says many of the victims were holidaymakers travelling to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, which takes place on Tuesday.

Srinivas Rao and his cousin, Gangadhar, were travelling on the train with their parents and managed to escape.

"But we don't know what's happened to our parents," they told the BBC.

P Ramesh, a passenger who lost seven members of his family, including his wife and brother, told Associated Press: "We were fast asleep when there was a big bang and a thud. The next thing the train was under water.

"It was pitch dark and people were screaming."

Rains have lashed southern India for more than a week, claiming more than 100 lives in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

India's state-run railway system carries more than 13m passengers a day.

It has one of the world's largest rail networks, but also a poor safety record.

About 300 rail accidents are reported every year, resulting in a high number of casualties.

Earlier this month, at least 16 people died and dozens were injured in a train crash in Madhya Pradesh state.

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India Train Derailment Kills More Than 100 Near Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh

PUKHRAYAN, India — At least 104 people were killed when 14 coaches of an overnight passenger train rolled off the track in northern India early Sunday, with rescue workers using cutting torches to try to pull out survivors, police said.

Daljeet Chaudhary, a director general of police, said the death toll was likely to rise because rescue workers had yet to gain access to one of the worst-damaged coaches. 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. The bodies were retrieved from mangled coaches that had fallen on their side.

One of the passengers, Satish Kumar, said that the train was traveling at normal speed when it stopped suddenly.

"It restarted, and then we heard a crash," said Kumar, whose coach remained standing on the track. "When we came out of the train, we saw a few coaches had derailed."

Some of the coaches crumpled when they crashed into others, trapping hundreds of people inside.

Rescue workers, soldiers and members of India's disaster management force pulled 104 bodies from the wreckage, said Chaudhary, inspector-general of police in Uttar Pradesh state.

Rescuers used cutting torches to open the derailed train cars to try to reach those trapped inside, while cranes were deployed to lift the coaches from the tracks. However, they were moving cautiously because some of the coaches were precariously tilted, and there was a danger of the coach toppling over, possibly injuring those trapped inside.

"We are being very careful in using the cutting torches," Chaudhary said.

The derailment occurred near Pukhrayan, outside of Kanpur, an industrial city about 250 miles southeast of New Delhi. The Patna-Indore Express train, linking the central Indian city of Indore to the city of Patna to its northeast, completes its 845-mile journey in 27 hours.

Prayers with those injured in the tragic train accident. I've spoken to @sureshpprabhu, who is personally monitoring the situation closely.

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 20, 2016

Medical teams were providing first aid near the site, while the more seriously injured were moved to hospitals in Kanpur, Chaudhary said. Of the roughly 150 injured, 72 were in serious condition, he said.

Police were having a hard time keeping away hundreds of people from nearby villages who were the first to reach the accident site. "We have cordoned off some areas near the coaches to keep people from hampering the rescue efforts," Chaudhary said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his concern over the derailment.

"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 posted on his Twitter account.

It was not immediately clear what caused the coaches to derail. Rail authorities have ordered an investigation into the accident, Saxena said.

Trains are the most popular mode of transport for millions of Indians, with around 23 million using the country's vast railway network every day.

India's worst train accident occurred in 1981 near Saharsa Bihar when a passenger train fell into the Baghmati River, killing nearly 800 people.


100 killed as Indian train derails into flooded river

VELIGONDA, India -- A passenger train derailed on flooded tracks in southern India yesterday and plunged into a rain-swollen river, killing at least 100 people and trapping scores inside submerged cars, officials said.

About 100 injured passengers were rescued from the train, which derailed after floods washed away the tracks in the town of Veligonda in Andhra Pradesh state.

''We were fast asleep, when there was a big bang and a thud. The next thing, the train was under water," said P. Ramesh, a passenger who lost seven relatives in the wreck, including his wife and brother.

Army divers and local volunteers swam to the coaches to help pull out the injured. Other soldiers, lowered onto the roofs of the coaches by helicopter, cut through the top of rail cars and retrieved passengers hanging on to luggage racks and ceiling fans.

Scores of people were still trapped inside the cars, at least five of which were lying on their sides, partially submerged. One of the cars was resting on top of another.

''We have recovered 100 bodies so far. And some bodies may have been washed away" by the fast moving flood waters of the river, said Thomas Verghese, general manager of India's southern railway.

Railway officials were waiting for cranes to reach the accident site to lift the submerged cars from the water.

''It was pitch dark, and people were screaming," Ramesh, the rescued passenger, said as he waited for soldiers to cut open the side of the car and retrieve the dead. ''I was able to clamber out of the coach, but others were not so lucky. They are still inside."

The train -- an engine and 17 cars -- hit a portion of track washed away by flash floods, and seven coaches derailed, officials said.

Rains also washed away many roads in the area, making it difficult for rescuers and ambulances to reach the accident site.

Three days of downpours caused at least three water reservoirs to breach their banks, triggering the flash floods, said R. Velu, a federal junior minister for railways.

Veligonda is about 50 miles east of Hyderabad.

Rains have battered southern India for more than a week, claiming at least 90 lives in Andhra Pradesh and the neighboring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Most died due to drowning, electrocution, and injuries caused by housing collapses.


Over 100 people killed in India train derailment

Train was travelling from Patna to Indore when it derailed on Sunday morning, throwing several carriages off the tracks.

At least 100 people were killed and more than 150 injured when a train derailed in northern Uttar Pradesh, India’s biggest state, police said.

The train was travelling between the northeastern city of Patna and the central city of Indore on Sunday when the incident happened, throwing several carriages off the track, according to railway officials.

It is the worst disaster since 2010 when a passenger train crashed into a freight train in the eastern state of West Bengal, killing 146 and injuring more than 200.

Authorities have launched an official investigation into the accident, which Manoj Sinha , the junior railways minister, said may have been caused by damage to the tracks.

“As we know a major accident has happened in which the entire train turned turtle,” Daljit Singh Chaudhary, the additional police director-general of Uttar Pradesh, told AFP news agency.

“A lot of teams are currently there including local police, doctors and members of the National Disaster Response Force. The rescue operations are on.”

Rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a train derailment in Pukhrayan, south of Kanpur city [Jitendra Prakash/Reuters]

All local hospitals had been placed on alert and around 30 ambulances had been deployed to transport the injured.

India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the Patna-Indore Express train had derailed near Kanpur, in northern India, and that the National Disaster Response Force was overseeing the rescue efforts.

Al Jazeera’s Faiz Jamil, reporting from the capital Delhi, said the crash happened at around 3am local time.

“It happened about 450km southeast of Delhi and the local rescue teams have now been joined by the state and national teams. The railway officials have said they will be looking into the cause of the derailment,” he said.

TV footage showed rescue workers trying to cut through severely mangled coaches with suitcases and other luggage strewn around.

Witnesses spoke of being woken up by a huge bang and being thrown around.

“We woke up to a great thud this morning. It was pitch dark and the noise was deafening,” a passenger told reporters as he waited with his family at the accident site.

“I am lucky to be alive and safe. But it was a near-death experience for us.”

#WATCH Rescue and relief ops underway after Patna-Indore express train derailed near Kanpur, which left 63 dead, over 150 injured. pic.twitter.com/iaeftJ7mS3

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 20, 2016

Suresh Prabhu, India’s railways minister, said in a tweet that the government would immediately investigate the causes of the derailment and promised accountability with the “strictest possible action”.

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.

Nitika Trivedi, a student who boarded the train with her family, said images of the victims’ bodies would long haunt her.

“I had never seen anything like this in my life before. I am shaken to the core,” she said.

Anxious relatives thronged the station in Indore in central India where the train originated, many clutching pictures of their loved ones, and railway officials said special trains had been deployed for stranded travellers.

Local media reports said the train was packed with families, some of them travelling home for weddings.

More than 20 million people in India use the railway network each day [Jitendra Prakash/Reuters]

Train derails in eastern India, killing 7 people

PATNA, India (AP) -- Seven people were killed and 29 injured when nine coaches of a New Delhi-bound train derailed early Sunday in eastern India, officials said.

Most of the passengers were asleep when the train jumped the tracks. Soon after the accident, hundreds of villagers rushed to help rescuers and members of India's disaster management to pull out people trapped in the twisted metal and overturned coaches.

Indian Railways official Rajesh Dutt Bajpai said that by noon Sunday, the rescue work was over. Two of the injured were in critical condition, he said.

The cause of the accident is being investigated. The Press Trust of India news agency said a rail fracture appeared to have caused the derailment about 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Patna, the Bihar state capital.

India's vast railway system is the world's third largest but lacks modern signaling and communication systems. Most accidents are blamed on poor maintenance, outdated equipment and human error.

In 2016, 127 people were killed after 14 coaches derailed in Uttar Pradesh state, in one of India's worst train accidents.


Over 100 killed as Indian train derails

Pukhrayan, India - Emergency workers raced Sunday to find any more survivors in the mangled wreckage of an Indian express train that derailed overnight, killing over 100 people, in the worst disaster to hit the country's ageing rail network in years.

Many were sleeping when 14 carriages leapt from the tracks in a remote area of Uttar Pradesh state, and shocked passengers recalled being jolted out of their slumber by a violent thud.

"I woke up suddenly around 3.10 am and felt a tremor. The train came to a screeching halt," survivor Yaqoob Ahmed told the Hindustan Times newspaper from a hospital in the nearby city of Kanpur.

"All of a sudden, I was crushed under a crowd of people. everyone was screaming for help." Survivors also told of their desperate search for loved-ones on the train, which was carrying at least one wedding party with the marriage season in India in full swing.

Hundreds of army and police have been deployed at the scene, where rescue workers used gas-powered metal cutters to slice through severely mangled coaches to try to get to survivors.

"We have been able to pull out 24 people, out of which five were found to be alive," said Brigadier A. Chhibbar, who is leading the army's rescue operations.

"We will carry on day and night, till there is any inkling of even a single person being pulled alive." Police said over 100 people had been killed and another 150 injured and rushed to nearby hospitals, which had been placed on high alert after the early morning disaster.

It is the worst disaster since 2010 when a passenger train crashed into a freight train in the eastern state of West Bengal, killing 146 and injuring over 200.

Authorities have launched an official investigation into the accident, which junior railways minister Manoj Sinha said may have been caused by damage to the tracks.

India's railway network, one of the world's largest, is still the main form of long-distance travel in the vast country, but it is poorly funded and deadly accidents occur relatively frequently.

A 2012 government report said almost 15,000 people were killed every year on India's railways, describing the deaths as an annual "massacre".

Nitika Trivedi, a student who boarded the train with her family, said images of the victims' bodies would long haunt her.

"I had never seen anything like this in my life before. I am shaken to the core," she said.

Anxious relatives thronged the station in Indore in central India where the train originated, many clutching pictures of their loved-ones, and railway officials said special trains had been deployed for stranded travellers.

"We are also trying to clear the tracks and complete the restoration work as quickly as possible," Vijay Kumar, a spokesman for north-central railways, told AFP.

Local media reports said the train was packed with families, some of them travelling home for weddings.

Bride-to-be Ruby Gupta, who survived the accident with a fractured arm, was desperately searching for her father.

"I have been looking everywhere for him," she told the Press Trust of India.

In 2014 an express train ploughed into a stationary freight train, also in Uttar Pradesh, killing 26 people.

And last year 27 people died when two trains derailed in Madhya Pradesh state during heavy rain.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has pledged to invest US$137 billion (S$195 billion) over five years to modernise the crumbling railways, making them safer, faster and more efficient.

On Sunday Modi tweeted that he was "anguished beyond words" by the loss of life in the latest accident.


Bihar train disaster

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Bihar train disaster, train wreck that killed hundreds of people on June 6, 1981, when a passenger train derailed on a bridge and plunged into the Baghmati River in the state of Bihar, northern India.

The passenger train was moving from Mansi to Saharsa when seven of the train’s nine cars fell into the river. The explanation for the train’s derailment is not entirely known. Some reports stated that the train’s engineer sharply applied the brakes to avoid hitting a cow that had walked onto the tracks. Slippery conditions caused by torrential rains also were likely a factor. The chances for a successful rescue were remote, as the monsoon rains made the river conditions deadly moreover, help was not immediately available near the disaster site. When rescuers finally did arrive, they searched the area for survivors for several days. At least 250 fatalities were confirmed hundreds more passengers were never found.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Heather Campbell, Senior Editor.


– ‘Shaken to core’ –

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.

“I had never seen anything like this in my life before. I am shaken to the core,” she said.

Railway officials said special trains had been pressed into service for stranded travellers.

Read Also

“We are also trying to clear the tracks and complete the restoration work as quickly as possible,” Vijay Kumar, a spokesman for north-central railways, told AFP.

Local media reports said the train was packed with families, some of them travelling home for weddings.

Bride-to-be Ruby Gupta, who survived the accident with a fractured arm, was desperately searching for her father.

“I have been looking everywhere for him,” she said according to the Press Trust of India.

National Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said in a tweet the government would investigate what caused the derailment and announced compensation for the victims.

India’s railway network, one of the world’s largest, is still the main form of long-distance travel in the vast country, but it is poorly funded and deadly accidents occur relatively frequently.

In 2014 an express train ploughed into a stationary freight train, also in Uttar Pradesh, killing 26 people.

And last year 27 people died after two trains derailed in Madhya Pradesh state during heavy rain.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has pledged to invest $137 billion over five years to modernise the crumbling railways, making them safer, faster and more efficient.

On Sunday Modi tweeted that he was “anguished beyond words” by the loss of life in the latest accident.

In 2012 a government report said almost 15,000 people were killed every year on India’s railways, describing the deaths as an annual “massacre”.


Train Derailment in India Kills More Than 100

(SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) INDIA’S JUNIOR RAILWAY MINISTER, MANOJ SINHA, SAYING: u201cIt seems that there was fracture in the rail track. The Commissioner for Railway Safety will investigate it properly. The primary information which we have received is that the locomotive inspector felt a jerk and before he could do anything the train went off the track. Engineering and mechanic department personnel will give the reasons why after investigating.” (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) TRAIN PASSENGER, RAVINDRA PATHAK, SAYING: “All of a sudden, there was a massive jerk. Our head collided with the roof of a coach after that coach was derailed. We were in S-5 coach. We somehow managed to come out because the door couldn’t be opened. After coming out of the coach, we saw that the train had derailed. But the four or five other people in my compartment are missing.” SOUNDBITE (Hindi) no name given, survivor: “Three people were travelling, my daughter and my wife and me.u201d Survivor: “I don’t know where they are, they (rescue workers) haven’t been able to locate them.” SOUNDBITE (Hindi) Kumar Ravikant Singh, District Magistrate: “Possibly many people are trapped inside. We are using gas cutters to help them, they (rescue workers) are doing their work for those who are trapped. The injured have been sent to the district hospital and even in Kanpur we have a medical college where the injured will be taken.”

NEW DELHI — Fourteen coaches of an Indian train derailed early Sunday, killing at least 108 people in one of the worst rail accidents here in recent years, the police said.

At least 75 others were admitted to hospitals, many of them with head injuries and fractures, and the death toll was likely to rise, said Rahul Srivastav, a spokesman for the police in Uttar Pradesh State, where the derailment took place.

The accident occurred at 3 a.m. about a mile from the Pukhrayan railway station, about 40 miles southwest of the northern city of Kanpur, on a train bound for Patna, the capital of Bihar State.

Mr. Srivastav noted that passengers were sleeping at the time. The deaths and injuries occurred when people were “falling over each other and colliding against the compartment,” he said.

Two coaches were crushed in the derailment, he said.

The cause of the accident was unclear on Sunday. Ved Prakash, a spokesman for the railway, said he suspected that a “rail fracture,” or a crack in the train track, might have been the cause, though it was too early to be sure. Indian railways have had dozens of such cracks on various tracks, The Hindu newspaper reported.

“The whole train was shaking,” a young passenger said in a televised interview with NDTV, a news channel. “My sister was there and my brothers were there. I found everyone except for my father.”

In another televised interview, a young woman said, “I became very numb and I thought, ‘What has happened here?’”

The Uttar Pradesh police, the railway police, the National Disaster Response Force and the state health department were dispatched to the scene. Rescue efforts continued on Sunday.

“All kind of instruments are needed when coaches get mangled and topple over each other,” Mr. Srivastav said.

India has long struggled to modernize its creaking railway system, which is one of the largest in the world but suffers from neglect and age.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government would provide 200,000 rupees, or nearly $3,000, to the families of those killed in the accident, above any amount offered by the Indian railways.


Watch the video: Train derailment kills over 100 in India (January 2022).