NEW DELHI – At least 36 people were killed and over 100 others were injured after Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express derailed in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh.
“The incident took place around 11 PM on Saturday when the train was on its way to Bhubaneswar from Jagdalpur,” officials said today.
“Seven coaches and the engine of the 18448 Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express derailed near Kuneru station. Besides the engine, the luggage van, two general coaches, two sleeper coaches, one AC three tier coach and an AC two-tier coach derailed,” Chief PRO of East Coast Railway J P Mishra told Indian media.
At least 36 passengers were killed, said Mr Mishra.
Rayagada Sub-collector Muralidhar Swain said that the number of injured could be around 100. The casualty figures may go up as many people are trapped, he added.
The injured have been shifted to two hospitals at Parbatipuram and Rayagada.
A team of doctors has reached the accident site. District administration of both Vijayanagaram and Rayagada are taking active part in rescue operations, said Mr Mishra.
The train had 22 coaches.
Services were affected on Rayagada and Vijayanagaram route, with several trains diverted.
Last month two people were killed and dozens injured after another train derailed also near Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh state.
In 2014, an express train ploughed into a stationary freight train, also in Uttar Pradesh, killing 26 people.
A 2012 government report said almost 15,000 people were killed every year on India´s railways and described the loss of life as an annual “massacre”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has pledged to invest $137 billion over five years to modernise the crumbling railways, making them safer, faster and more efficient.
The government has signed numerous deals with private companies to upgrade the ageing network.
Japan has agreed to provide $12 billion in soft loans to build India´s first bullet train, though plans remain in their infancy.