50 killed and 400 injured in train derailment in India

Officials admit that many passengers are still trapped inside the carriages.

At least 50 people were killed and 400 injured on Friday after a train derailed and collided with a freight locomotive in India’s Odisha district, Reuters reports. Many still find themselves in the mix.

The crash happened at around 19:30 local time (13:50 in Lisbon) near a station in the town of Bahanaga, 1,600 kilometers northeast of the capital New Delhi. More than 400 people were injured and admitted to nearby hospitals.

More than 15 teams of firefighters, 30 doctors, 75 ambulances and 500 police officers are on site.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that rescue teams are trying to provide all possible assistance to all those affected by the incident.

“At this time of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families; may the injured recover quickly,” the Indian leader wrote.

The president of West Bengal state described the clash as “a serious accident”. Railway company sources quoted by Reuters admit that the number of victims is high and is expected to rise in the coming hours.

According to Coromandel Express, the train derailed and fell onto the opposite track. Many passengers are trapped inside the train.

“I cannot comment on the details and the number of casualties now. I was in Delhi and am going to the site of the accident,” Archana Joshi, general manager of the railway company, told Reuters.

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India has the fourth largest railway network after the US, Russia and China, covering about 68,000 kilometers, over 21,000 trains and 7,349 stations, carrying 23 million passengers daily.

Accidents are common in the country, and according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau, there were 13,018 accidents in 2020, in which 11,986 people died and 11,127 were injured, with collisions accounting for 70% of accidents.

In August 1995, 358 people were killed when two trains collided near New Delhi, the worst train accident in Indian history, most of these accidents are caused by human error or obsolete signaling equipment.

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