At least 32 people have been killed after nine coaches of a passenger train derailed in eastern India, police have said. The express train from Jagdalpur to Bhubaneswar came off the track near Kuneri station, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, around 18 miles (30km) outside the town of Raigarh. “Nine bogies [coaches] were derailed of which three have turned and fallen off the track,” said local Superintendent of Police LKV Ranga Rao. Video footage from the scene showed disaster management workers and locals trying to rescue trapped passengers from the wreckage, using phones to provide light.
Most of the casualties and deaths are from the three sleeper-class compartments.
Local Superintendent of Police LKV Ranga Rao
“The rescue operation is almost over,” said JP Mishra, chief public relations officer at East Coast Railway, which has jurisdiction over the area where the derailment occurred. “Our first priority is to take care of the injured passengers and provide them proper treatment by shifting them to hospitals. We are also searching all the coaches to ensure that nobody remains stranded in them,” he said. Around 50 people are said to have been injured in the crash. The derailment is thought to have been caused by a technical fault, Mr Rao said. India’s railway system is the world’s third largest, but is severely hampered by a lack of modern signalling and communication systems as well as poor maintenance of tracks and equipment.