India train derailment: At least 9 dead on Bikaner-Guwahati Express in West Bengal state

India train derailment: At least 9 dead on Bikaner-Guwahati Express in West Bengal state

Indian Railways spokesman Rajesh Bajpai said four of the 12 carriages of the interstate express train went off the track in the Jalpaiguri district of the state.

“It seems that there are no more people trapped in the cars,” said another railway spokesman, Gurmeet Kaur. Workers were restoring the track to allow other trains to pass, he added.

Initial assessments suggest there was a crack in the tracks, News-18, a CNN affiliate, reported, citing local authorities.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she was “deeply concerned to learn of the tragic accident”.

“The injured will receive medical attention as soon as possible,” he wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter Thursday that his “thoughts are with the grieving families” and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

India’s extensive rail network suffers from aging infrastructure and poor maintenance, factors that are often responsible for accidents.

In 2020, nearly 12,000 people were killed in more than 13,000 train accidents across the country, according to a report last year from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

One of the deadliest incidents in recent years occurred in November 2016, when more than 140 people were killed after multiple train carriages derailed in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
The following November, at least 39 people were killed and 50 others seriously injured in a train derailment in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
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