Fourteen coaches of a passenger train derailed early Sunday, killing at least 100 people in Kanpur district, officials said. More than 100 were reported injured.
Volunteers and railway police were working to pull out passengers who are trapped in the coaches that fell on the side, said Anand Mishra, a police official in Purwa, a village near the industrial city of Kanpur where the Patna-Indore Express train derailed at around 3:10am.
Medical teams were providing first aid near the site while the more seriously injured have been moved to hospitals in Kanpur, Mishra said.
Kanpur is a major railway junction and hundreds of trains pass through it every day. Several trains using the line have been diverted to other routes, Anil Saxena, spokesperon for Indian Railways, said in New Delhi.
Though the cause of the derailment was not known immediately, sources said the nature and timing shows that the accident was caused by a rail fracture. However, the exact reason would be known only after an inquiry.
Buses were pressed into service to help passengers complete their journey, Northern Central Railways spokesperson Vijay Kumar said, adding that the S2 coach was severely damaged. Four AC coaches have also been derailed.
Meanwhile, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered a probe into the train tragedy.
“All rescue relief work on to deal with unfortunate accident. All medical and other help rushed. Enquiry ordered. Situation monitored closely,” Prabhu said in a tweet.
Railways has also released helpline numbers -- Indore- 07411072, Ujjain- 07342560906, Ratlam- 074121072, Orai- 051621072, Jhansi- 05101072, Pokhraya- 05113270239.