LUCKNOW, India – Three coaches of a passenger train derailed in northern India on Friday, killing 26 people, and rescuers were using gas cutters to rip apart the mangled wreckage to find trapped people. At least 30 people were injured.
Rescue workers had pulled out 26 bodies, said Ram Murath Yadav, a police official at the site of the accident near Bachhrawan village in Uttar Pradesh state.
Several people were feared trapped in the wreckage after three coaches of the train jumped the tracks. Rescue efforts were now focused on bringing them out alive, Yadav said.
One of the derailed coaches was a general compartment that was crushed by the impact. The other was a guard compartment which is likely to have been vacant. If not for the vacant coach, the number of casualties would have been higher, officials told NDTV.
The cause of the derailment was not immediately known. The federal rail ministry has ordered an inquiry.
Train accidents are common in India. The country's railroad network is one of the world's largest and carries more than 23 million passengers each day. Most accidents are blamed on poor maintenance and human error.