At least 146 dead as rescuers finish India train crash search

Rescuers finished searching the wreckage Monday of a train crash that killed at least 146 people in one of the deadliest such incidents in India in years.

The Indore-Patna Express came off the tracks near the northern industrial city of Kanpur soon after 3 a.m. local time Sunday, causing 14 coaches to derail.

Investigators will look into a possible fracture in the tracks as a potential cause of the accident, the Indian Express reported. It said the train was travelling at 68 mph when it crashed, and reported that the carriages were outdated.

“There was a loud sound like an earthquake. I fell from my berth and a lot of luggage fell over me,” Ramchandra Tewari, who suffered a head injury, told the Associated Press from his hospital bed in Kanpur. “I thought I was dead, and then I passed out.”

Rescuers worked through the night to pull people from the twisted metal and overturned coaches near the village of Pukhrayan.

State official Debasish Panda told the AP at least 146 people were dead. Local police Inspector General Zaki Ahmad told the news agency that about 226 people were injured, 76 of them seriously.

Train accidents are relatively common on India, and are mostly blamed on poor maintenance, outdated equipment and human error.

A 2012 government report said about 15,000 people are killed in train accidents every year in India. The worst incident occurred in 1981, when a passenger train fell into the Baghmati River in the north of the country, killing nearly 800 people.

USA TODAY


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