(CNN and CBS News) -At least 23 people were killed and 40 injured yesterday (August 19) after a train derailed in northern India, police said.
The express train from Puri to Haridwar derailed near the city of Khatauli, Uttar Pradesh Police said in a statement.
Eight of the train’s coaches derailed and toppled over each other, police said.
The injured have been sent to local hospitals.
The cause of the derailment was not immediately known, Neeraj Sharma, a railway spokesman, said.
“We are struggling to pull out injured, and are waiting for gas cutters to arrive. It’s too dark to launch a full-fledged search operation, but our teams are trying their best,” senior police officer Ajay Pandey told Reuters news agency.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that he was pained by the derailment and offered condolences to families of the victims.
Reuters reported in June, citing two government documents, that a planned $15 billion safety overhaul of India’s ageing rail network faced delays as the state steel company was unable to meet demands for new rails.
Top: Railway police and local volunteers look for survivors in the upturned coaches of the Kalinga-Utkal Express after an accident near Khatauli, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday, August 19, 2017. Photo: AP
Inset: A volunteer breaks the glass of a train compartment window to rescue passengers trapped after the accident. Photo: AP
SOURCE: CNN written by Emanuella Grinberg and from journalist Huizhong Wu in New Delhi as well as CBS News with the Associated Press contributing to this report.