2 killed, 40 injured as express train derails in northern India

Added On December 28, 2016

 NEW DELHI, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- At least two people were killed and more than 40 others injured when an express train derailed near the town of Kanpur in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh Wednesday morning, a senior railway official said.

"The mishap took place near Rura station in Kanpur's Dehat district around 5:30 a.m. (local time) when as many as 14 coaches of the Sealdah-Ajmer Express train, which plies between the eastern state of West Bengal and the northern state of Rajasthan, jumped the tracks," he said.
While two bodies were pulled out of the wrecked coaches, those injured have been admitted to a nearby hospital The condition of eight are said to be serious, the official said.
Local TV channels reported that the accident took place in dense early morning fog and two of the 14 derailed coaches fell into a dry drain, and showed footage of rescuers using gas cutters to enter into the coaches in search of anyone trapped inside.
The mishap has disrupted train movement in the region, with Kanpur being a major railway junction through which hundreds of trains pass every day. "It'll take some more time before rail services are normalized in the region," the official said.
Indian Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has said that he is "personally monitoring the situation."
"Immediate medical help being provided to the injured. Mobilized resources, directed all concerned to ensure rescue and relief," he tweeted.
In another tweet, the minister said "thorough investigation will be carried out to ascertain the cause (of the accident)."
The mishap came just a month after at least 140 people were killed and over 200 injured in their sleep when some 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express train, which plies between the central state of Madhya Pradesh and the eastern state of Bihar, derailed in Kanpur's Dehat district.
Indian Railways is one of the world's largest train networks and criss-crosses the country from north to south. But train accidents are fairly common in India, where much of the railway equipment is out of date.
Last year, the government had announced investments of 137 billion U.S. dollars over five years to modernize and expand the railways.