Indian police say 40 injured in train accident

At least 40 people were injured when 15 coaches of a train derailed in northern India early Wednesday, two of them falling into a dry canal bed, police said.

Superintendent of Police Prabhakar Chaudhary said the accident happened near Kanpur, a city in Uttar Pradesh state. The area is nearly 400 kilometres (250 miles) southeast of New Delhi.

The cause was not immediately known.

Chaudhary said the injured have been hospitalized, with eight in critical condition.

Ahmed Javed, the state's top police officer, said all of the passengers have been evacuated from the derailed coaches. Television images showed some coaches lying on their sides.

Manish Mishra, a rail official, said two coaches toppled town a rail bridge and fell into the dry canal bed.

Rizwan Chaudhary, a passenger, said a loud bang woke him up. "Our coach tilted to one side. I jumped out and saw a few coaches were derailed," he said.

It was the second recent rail accident in the region. In November, 127 people were killed and 150 injured when 14 coaches of a passenger train slid off the track.

Accidents are relatively common in India's sprawling rail network. It is the world's third-largest network but lacks modern signaling and communication systems. Most accidents are blamed on poor maintenance, outdated equipment and human error.