At least 23 dead, dozens hurt as train derails in India

Elias Hubbard
August 21, 2017

One derailed coach hit a nearby house, causing a huge amount of damage to the property.

India began investigating on Sunday a train crash in which 23 people were killed, the fourth major accident over the past year on the world's fourth biggest rail network which is grappling with chronic under-investment and over-crowding.

Locals in the area have told the media that track fix work had been going on for a few days and they suspect that the driver of the train was unaware of the problems in the tracks. Officials have said they expect the death toll to rise.

Principal Secretary (Information) Avanish Awasthi said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the dead and Rs 50,000 for those injured.

At least 80 people were injured, with some reports putting the figure closer to 125.

August 4, 2015: 25 people were killed and 25 others injured as bogies of Mumbai-Varanasi Kamayani Express derailed and fell into Machak river in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh. "Have instructed senior officers to reach site immediately and ensure speedy rescue and relief operations", Prabhu said in series of tweets.

The national authorities have sent disaster teams to help the local workers.

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

In addition, the government launched a $15 billion safety overhaul in February after the surge in accidents blamed on defective tracks.

A senior official in the Uttar Pradesh government, Arvind Kumar, told the Hindustan Times the train driver had slammed the brakes on after spotting maintenance work on the tracks that was not properly signalled, the newspaper reported.

The accident took place near the small town of Khatauli, about 130 kilometres north of New Delhi.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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