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142 People Killed in India’s Train Derailment

  • VOA News

An injured passenger and her son share a bed as they are treated at a hospital in Kanpur, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, India, Nov. 21, 2016.

An injured passenger and her son share a bed as they are treated at a hospital in Kanpur, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, India, Nov. 21, 2016.

The death toll from a train derailment in India rose to 142 Monday morning after rescue workers completed their search with grim warnings that more bodies may be trapped inside.

Rescue workers and volunteers have pulled more than 220 injured people from the wreckage of the derailed passenger train, traveling Sunday between the cities of Indore and Patna in a rural district of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. More than 75 of the injured were in serious condition.

Pukhrayan village, India, approximate site of the derailment

Pukhrayan village, India, approximate site of the derailment

It was not yet clear why 14 of the train's coaches were thrown off the tracks.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Twitter. "Anguished beyond words on the loss of lives due to the derailing of the Patna-Indore express. My thoughts are with the bereaved families," Modi said.

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu addressed a rowdy crowd of lawmakers in the lower house of parliament, promising a thorough investigation.

"Forensic enquiry has been ordered to look into all possible angles. Guilty will be given strictest possible punishment," he said.

More than 2,000 people are believed to have been on the train, though many were travelling without reserved seats - or without tickets at all - making a precise estimate impossible.

Rescuers search through debris after 14 cars of an overnight passenger train rolled off the track near Pukhrayan village Kanpur Dehat district, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Nov. 20, 2016.

Rescuers search through debris after 14 cars of an overnight passenger train rolled off the track near Pukhrayan village Kanpur Dehat district, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Nov. 20, 2016.

India has one of the world's largest railway networks. It is poorly funded, however, and deadly accidents happen frequently.

The latest accident - one of India's deadliest - comes at a time when the government has signed numerous deals with private companies to upgrade the aging rail network.

A 2012 government report said almost 15,000 people were killed every year on India's railways and described the loss of life as an annual "massacre."

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