NEW DELHI (AP) — A passenger train derailed in eastern India on Wednesday, trapping many people inside its derailed coaches, officials said. More than 170 people were injured and taken to hospitals, according to media reports.
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. Details were not immediately known.
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.
Television images showed rescue teams trying to take passengers out of mangled coaches. New Delhi television news reported that 179 people were taken to hospitals.
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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. In August 1995, two trains collided near New Delhi, killing 358 people in the worst train accident in India’s history.
Most train accidents are blamed on human error or outdated signaling equipment.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 64,000 kilometers (40,000 miles) of track.
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