40 dead in train accident in northern India

NEW DELHI – At least 40 people were killed following a collision between two trains on Monday, in northern India, 700 kilometers east of New Delhi, Indian media reported.

The deadly accident took place on Monday morning near the Chureb railway station in Uttar Pradesh state when the Gorakhdham Express passenger train, traveling at high speed, crashed into a stationary goods train, which was sitting on the same track. 

Six passenger cars derailed injuring over 100 people. According to media reports, many passengers are still trapped in the derailed cars. 

The driver apparently attempted to stop the train several times but to no avail.

Officials say the cause of the accident is the result of a "signal failure“. An inquiry has been ordered by the Indian Railways as the Chureb as the station manager was reportedly missing after the tragic incident, raising concerns of negligence.

Train accidents are a common phenomenon in India. Earlier this month, 18 people were killed and over 100 injured when four cars of a passenger train derailed in the western state of Maharashtra.

Narendra Modi, the new Prime Minister, who was sworn in Monday evening, offered his condolences.

“Spoke to the Cabinet Secretary. Asked him to take an overview of the situation and ensure timely assistance to those injured,” Modi wrote on his Twitter page.

President Pranab Mukherjee also offered condolences in a press statement.

“I am saddened to learn about the train accident in which a number of persons lost their lives and some were injured near Khalilabad in Uttar Pradesh, Mukherjee said. I am sure that the State Government and other agencies are taking necessary steps to provide urgent medical assistance to the injured and all possible aid to the bereaved families, who have lost their near and dear ones.”

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