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More than 120 dead in India train crash


More than 120 people are now known to have been killed and 850 injured in a multiple train collision in India’s eastern Odisha state, officials say.

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More than 200 ambulances were sent to the scene in Balasore district, says Odisha’s chief secretary Pradeep Jena.

One passenger train is thought to have derailed before being struck by another on the adjacent track late on Friday.

Indian Railways said the two services involved were the Coromandel Express and the Howrah Superfast Express.

Speaking to reporters at the crash site, Odisha Fire Services official Sudhanshu Sarangi said: “We have now recovered more than 120 dead bodies.”

He warned that the figures “might go up as we complete the process” of checking the overturned carriages.

Mr Jena earlier said that about 850 were injured, and more than 100 additional doctors have been mobilised. Rescue efforts were “in full swing”, he added.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was distressed by the incident, and his thoughts were with the bereaved families.

“Rescue ops are underway at the site of the mishap and all possible assistance is being given to those affected,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah labelled the incident “deeply agonising”.

One male survivor said that “10 to 15 people fell on me when the accident happened and everything went haywire. I was at the bottom of the pile.

“I got hurt in my hand and also the back of my neck. When I came out of the train bogie, I saw someone had lost their hand, someone had lost their leg, while someone’s face was distorted,” the survivor told India’s ANI news agency.

It is believed that several carriages from the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed at around 19:00 local time (13:30 GMT), with some of them ending up on the opposite track.

Another train – the Howrah Superfast Express travelling from Yesvantpur to Howrah – is then thought to have hit the overturned carriages.

Indian officials said that a goods train – which was stationary at the site – was also involved in the incident. They provided no further details.

Some surviving passengers were seen rushing in to help rescue those trapped in the wreckage.

Local bus companies were also helping to transport wounded passengers.

There are fears that the death toll will rise further.

India has one of the largest train networks in the world, and accidents are common despite successive governments investing hundreds of millions of dollars to improve the infrastructure, says the BBC’s South Asia regional editor Anbarasan Ethirajan.

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