The death toll crossed 100 with more than 200 severely injured in one of the worst train accidents in recent times following the derailment of the 19321 Indore-Rajendranagar Patna Express near Pukharayan in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The accident happened in the wee hours of Sunday, at around 3.10 am, when 14 carriages of the train derailed.
Rescuers were still trying to reach the injured and recover the dead as the number of casualties kept increasing by the hour, said police. The cause of the crash is not clear yet though officials said that prima facie the cause of the accident could be due to track fracture. Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha told reporters at the spot that the cause of the accident seemed to be rail fracture.
Four ordinary sleeper coaches of the train—S1, S2, S3, S4—were badly damaged in the mishap. Most of the victims were located in two carriages—S1 and S2—near the engine.
76 passengers were seriously injured in the derailment, IG (Kanpur range) Zaki Ahmad told PTI. Over 150 other passengers received minor injuries in the mishap. "Over 150 injured people have been rushed to nearby hospitals in the area. All hospitals have been asked to be alert. More than 30 ambulances have been pressed into service," he said
Senior railway official Pratap Rai told Reuters: "We are using every tactic to save lives but it's very difficult to cut the metal carriages."
One passenger whose carriage did not derail told the Associated Press the train was going at normal speed. It stopped suddenly, said Satish Kumar, then restarted shortly before the crash.
Teams of army doctors, railway officials and personnel of NDRF, state PAC and other policemen were involved in carrying out rescue and relief operation.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and a host of other leaders condoled the loss of lives in the train tragedy.