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More than 140 dead after India train derailment

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A train has derailed near the northern city of Kanpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, leaving at least 142 dead and more than 200 injured, according to reports.

The fatal crash occurred at around 3am local time on Sunday (20 November), while most passengers were sleeping. The train was the bi-weekly service from Madhya Pradesh to Patna, carrying approximately 500 passengers.

Rescue teams finished their search for bodies buried under the derailed carriages today (21 November). Kanpur’s police inspector general Zaki Ahmed told Reuters: “The rescue operations are over. We don’t expect to find any more bodies.”

India’s railway minister Suresh Prabhu said in a statement: “14 coaches of the train derailed between Pokhrayan and Malasa stations. Three out of these coaches capsized.

“Immediate efforts were made to provide relief and rescue. Local ambulances were rushed to the site and the injured passengers shifted to nearby hospitals.”

The cause of the crash is not yet clear; however, Prabhu confirmed that an inquiry by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) has been launched.

“There shall be a separate comprehensive investigation aided by the latest technical and forensic analysis by an appropriate agency to look into all possible angles,” added Prabhu.

Approximately 23M people use the railway system in India every day. Fatalities on India’s railways are not uncommon, with more than 25,000 people killed in rail accidents each year, according to a report from India’s National Crime Records Bureau.

The derailment is the deadliest Indian train crash since 2010, when 148 were killed in a suspected terrorist attack.

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