Ten dead as train derails in India

Local residents look for survivors on the wreckage of train carriages after an express train derailed near the town of Khatauli in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on 19 August 2017

Crashes are common in India and Saturday's derailment is at least the fourth major passenger train derailment this year and the third in Uttar Pradesh since the start of 2017.

Neeraj Sharma, a railway spokesman, says the accident took place Saturday near the small town of Khatauli in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. The death toll in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh was expected to rise, officials said. "Many people are injured but at this point of time we don't have figures about injured or dead in the accident". "As of now our focus is on rescue and not on finding reasons for the accident". Heavyweight cranes and gas cutters were being used and locals were seen helping out those engaged in rescue work Muzaffarnagar authorities have set up a control room to assist families of those affected.

In January almost 40 people were killed when eight coaches and the engine of a passenger train derailed in the forest area of southern Andra Pradesh.

Officials said the injured were being admitted at Khatauli, Meerut and Muzaffarnagar hospitals. Indian railway minister Suresh Prabhu said he has ordered an inquiry into the accident. All efforts are being taken to ensure speedy relief and rescue operations, he said. "Strict action will be taken against any lapse", he said.

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

Indian railways, one of the largest in the world, has significant gaps in security, but remains the main means of transport to cover large distances in this vast country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has pledged to invest $137 billion over five years to modernize the crumbling railways, making them safer, faster and more efficient.

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