World / Asia-Pacific

Train crash in N.India kills over 40

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-05-26 18:56

NEW DELHI - The Indian Railways authorities on Monday ordered an inquiry into a major train incident which killed at least 40 people and injured over 100 others, said officials.

"An inquiry has been ordered into the incident," Chairman of the Railway Board Arunendra Kumar told the media.

Police put the latest figure of dead at 40, while the toll could further increase as some might still be trapped inside the derailed or crushed coaches six hours after the incident happened, said local daily Times of India online

Senior railway officials still refused to confirm the number of dead, saying that the priority as of now was to rescue the injured and send them to hospital

The Gorakhdham Express crashed into a goods train at Chureb railway station in Sant Kabir Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, north India, when it was traveling from Gorakhpur to Hisar via New Delhi, said police and local media reports.

The exact cause of the incident has not been determined yet. However, initial reports said both trains came on the single track due to signal error.

The accident took place in Sant Kabir Nagar district, about 230 km from the state capital Lucknow around 11:00 a.m. As a result of the impact of the collision, six coaches of the Gorakhdham Express - one AC coach, one sleeper, and four general - were derailed.

A station master of the railway station near the accident absconded as he apparently gave the green signal to the passenger train while the goods train was standing on the same track.

Three general coaches of Gorakhdham Express were badly crushed while six others were derailed.

A compensation of 100,000 rupees (1,600 U.S. dollars) to the family of those killed and 50,000 rupees (800 U.S. dollars) for those seriously injured.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi offered condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the train tragedy. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav offered condolences to the victims' families and deputed state Health Minister Ahmad Hasan oversees the rescue and relief operations.

Local TV footage showed several coaches of the train were derailed or turned turtle and rescuers were trying to get the wounded out of them.

A relief coach has also been dispatched to the scene to help the on-going rescue operation. Some people were still trapped inside the coaches.

Train accidents take place from time to time in India. On Aug. 19, 2013, the Rajya Rani Express train struck a large group of people at the Dhamara Ghat train station in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, killing 37 people.

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