August 22, 2019

Express train derails in India – 35 dead, dozens injured

The sight of the tragic train derailment. 1000 people on a train? How long does that take for the conductor to clip the tickets?

A packed passenger train derailed in northern India while travelling at top speed, killing at least 35 people and leaving up to 100 injured after 15 carriages were thrown off the tracks.

Some of the derailed carriages were left stacked on top of each other, as rescue teams worked to free people trapped inside the train in Uttar Pradesh state, 150km south of Lucknow city.

The train, carrying about 1000 people, was moving at near its top speed of 108 kilometres an hour when it derailed, PTI quoted one regional railway manager as saying.

The Kalka Mail train was travelling from Howrah, the main station for the eastern city of Kolkata, across India to the capital New Delhi when it left the tracks near the town of Fatehpur.

“We were sitting in our seats when suddenly everything turned upside down,” said a male passenger interviewed by the CNN-IBN news channel. “When the train stopped we broke the glass windows to jump out on the track.”

At nightfall, emergency teams were still working to cut their way into two carriages to search for survivors. Officials said the death toll could rise and that an investigation had been launched.

This latest tragedy will be ditto to yesterdays Volga river boat tragedy. Crumbling infrastructure and poor safety standards are to blame.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “expressed deep sorrow and shock at the loss of lives” and promised all resources in the area would be deployed for rescue and relief operations, his office said in a statement.

Only three days ago, 38 people were killed in another rail crash in Uttar Pradesh when a train slammed into a bus carrying a wedding party.