Published On:November 21, 2016, 1:24 pm
On Sunday, 03:00 local time on Sunday (21:30 GMT Saturday), at least 120 people died and more than 150 injured when an Indian train (Patna-Indore passenger train) derailed near the city of Kanpur, northern state of Uttar Pradesh. The toll is set to rise amidst a scramble to locate survivors.
According to Kanpur police, many people were still missing as government authorities tried to investigate the cause of derailment in which 14 carriages rolled off the tracks. The train was halfway through the journey when the ill-fated incident took place. It has been determined as India’s deadliest rail tragedy in the past six years, as more than 140 dies in 2010 train mishap.
Senior railway official, Mr. Pratap Rai said that despairing survivors looked for family members and a few tried to get into the crumbled carriages to lo rescue relatives and gather all their belongings. He further said, "We are using every tactic to save lives but it's very difficult to cut the metal carriages."
Kaushal Raj Sharma, the district magistrate of Kanpur said that a total of 119 were confirmed dead and 78 injured are admitted in the hospital and out of which 4 remain critical.
One of the survivors Mr. Shresth was the first to plunge out of the wreckage. He said, "I felt as though metal was clashing with metal, it was like a collision. My upper berth was almost tilted by the time the train halted." Further, "I did not want to step on the bodies so we took the other door, but by the time we deboarded, all I could see were either dead people or children crying for their parents."
He concluded saying that the incident, “shook him for life.”
India’s screeching railway system is the world’s fourth largest. It runs almost 11,000 trains in a day which includes 7,000 passenger trains which has the capacity of carrying more than 20 million people. However, the Indian Railway System has poor safety records, with nearly thousands of people dying in accidents every year which includes both train collisions and derailments.
Indian railway minister, Mr. Suresh Prabhu tweeted saying that the government would probe the cause of the derailment and has assured accountability with "strictest possible action", as well as compensation for the affected passengers.
Sources have that Russian President Vladimir Putin contacted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and "passed on words of sympathy and support to the relatives and loved ones of the dead and wished a fast recovery of the injured."
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