Train catastrophe: India's worst rail tragedy in a decade: about 100 dead

13:37 Nov. 20, 2016

India's worst rail tragedy in a decade: about 100 dead

India train crush, Nov. 20, 2016 (by TrendingContent Twitter)

14 carriages of the train suddenly rolled off the tracks 65 kilometers south of Kanpur city

At least 90 people were killed and more than 150 injured when an Indian express train derailed in northern Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, with the toll set to rise amid a desperate scramble to locate survivors from the mangled wreck, Reuters reports.

Police officials said about 20 people were still missing as authorities were trying to ascertain what caused 14 carriages of the train - traveling between the northeastern city of Patna and the central city of Indore - to suddenly roll off the tracks in Pukhrayan, 65 kilometers south of Kanpur city.

Other media already mentioning a higher number of victims.

With the death toll set to rise further, the derailment could become India's worst rail tragedy since 2005, when a train was crushed by a rock and another plunged into a river – each killing more than 100 people.

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India's creaking railway system is the world's fourth largest, ferrying more than 20 million people each day, but it has a poor safety record, with thousands of people dying in accidents every year, including the frequent derailments.

Suresh Prabhu, India's Railways Minister, said in a tweet the government would immediately investigate the causes of the derailment and promised accountability with the "strictest possible action," and compensation for the affected passengers.

Authorities were checking if the air brakes that would have prevented the disaster had failed, but added they would need to look further before concluding the cause of the accident. 

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