Passenger Train Derails in India, at Least 179 People Injured

NEW DELHI (AP) — A passenger train derailed in eastern India on Wednesday, trapping many people inside its derailed coaches, officials said. According to media reports, 179 people were injured.

Rescuers were attempting to free another 200 people feared trapped in the derailed coaches, said D.B. Shinde, the Balasore district administrator in Odisha state. The cause of the derailment was being investigated.

Amitabh Sharma, a railroad ministry spokesperson, said some mangled pieces of the derailed train fell onto a nearby track and were hit by another passenger train coming from the opposite direction.

The Press Trust of India news agency said the derailed Coromandel Express was traveling from Howrah in West Bengal state to Chennai, the capital of southern Tamil Nadu state.

TV images showed rescue teams trying to take passengers out of mangled coaches. New Delhi TV news reported that 179 people were taken to hospitals.

Despite government efforts to improve rail safety, several hundred accidents occur every year on India’s railways, the largest train network under one management in the world.

Most train accidents are blamed on human error or outdated signaling equipment.

More than 12 million people ride 14,000 trains across India every day, traveling on 40,000 miles of track.

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