India train crash death toll reaches 120

Updated 2016-11-21 12:05:41 Xinhua
Rescue forces work at a train accident site near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, India, Nov. 20, 2016.

Rescue forces work at a train accident site near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, India, Nov. 20, 2016.

The death toll in deadly train crash on Sunday in northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has reached upto 120, police said.

Another 200 are reported to be injured in the accident.

The crash occurred following derailment of 14 carriages of the Indore-Patna Express train early Sunday at 03:00 a.m. (local time) near Pukhrayan town of Kanpur Dehat district, about 149 km southwest of Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh.

"The death toll is over 115," Uttar Pradesh Police Chief, Javed Ahmad said.

Officials said the death toll which has been rising steadily during the day is likely to increase further. Reports said over 500 passengers were on board in the train.

The ill-fated train was traveling from Indore city of Madhya Pradesh and destined to reach Patna city in Bihar.

Rescuers using gas cutters to cut through the smashed metal coaches were searching for injured and bodies trapped inside. The rescue efforts were going on until late.

According to the railway officials, cause of the derailment leading to deadly crash was being ascertained.

Authorities have cancelled and diverted several trains after the accident along the track.

Witnesses told local media they woke up to a deafening bang and found themselves thrown around.

"I was asleep and suddenly woke up to a deafening noise, after which I found myself thrown on the floor of the coach," Amit Krishna a witness said. "Later on I saw coaches overturned with injured crying out in pain and several bodies scattered around."

Hours after the crash authorities pressed in heavy machinery to pull the survivors and rushed teams of army personnel, doctors to join rescue workers.

Officials said the injured were removed to the nearest hospitals.

The railway officials said it arranged transport for survivors to help them proceed to their destinations in other trains and buses. The ministry released helpline numbers for the anxious relatives, who were worried for their kins travelling in the train.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed heartfelt condolences to families of deceased in the accident.

Indian Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu reached the accident spot to oversee the rescue efforts.

"Strictest possible action will be taken against those who could be responsible for accident," Prabhu wrote on twitter warned that .

He said an investigation into the crash would begin immediately and compensation would be paid to "unfortunate passengers who died and to injured".

Kanpur is a major railway junction in north India and hundreds of trains pass through it daily.

Train accidents are common in India. Experts blame the outdated infrastructure of railways for most of the accidents.

Last year Indian government announced an investment of over 137 billion U.S. dollars over a period on next five years to boost railways and modernise it on new lines.

Indian sprawling railways is the world's third largest network, ferrying around 23 million people each day.

Last year a train accident in Uttar Pradesh killed 39 and injured 150.

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