More than 100 people have now been confirmed killed, while hundreds were seriously injured following the train crash near Kanpur, Utta Pradesh, India early today.
The crash involving Indore-Patna express train has been described, one of India’s worst rail disasters since 2010, according to Times of India.
In 2010 over 146 people died and over 200 injured when a passenger train crashed into a freight train in the eastern state of West Bengal.
It occurred at around 3am, near Pukhrayan, about 100 kms from Kanpur, when the passengers were fast asleep.
“The death toll has topped 100 now,” said Daljit Singh Chawdhary, the additional police director-general.
The death toll may rise further as the rescue officials are still pulling out those trapped inside.
Shocked passengers recounted being woken by a violent thud, and told of their desperate search for loved-ones on the train.
“We woke up to a great thud this morning. It was pitch dark and the noise was deafening,” one passenger told news agency AFP as he waited with his family at the scene.
“I am lucky to be alive and safe. It was a near-death experience for us,” another survivor said.
National Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said in a tweet the government would investigate what caused the derailment and announced compensation for the victims.
Meanwhile, government has announced various compensations for those killed and seriously injured in the accident.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for kin of deceased and Rs 50, 000 for seriously injured in the accident.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu also announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 3.5 lakh for the families of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 for those critically injured in Patna-Indore Express derailment incident.
Prabhu also announced compensation of Rs. 25,000 for those who sustained minor injuries.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has announced ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each for families of those killed and Rs 50,000 for seriously injured.