PUKHRAYAN, INDIA—On Sunday, Nov. 20, at around 3:00 a.m., a train heading to Patna, the capital of the Bihar state in India, rolled off its tracks, killing more than 146 people and leaving 70 people with injuries. According to reports, more casualties are expected as the search for victims and survivors continued throughout the night.
The derailment occurred a mile from the Pukhrayan railway station, located in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Patrons aboard the train were asleep when the accident happened.
“Suddenly I could feel the carriage was overturning. I immediately held the metal rod near the bathroom door,” said one survivor as he recalled the moment. He survived the incident along with his wife and two kids.
The derailment is said to be one of the deadliest railway tragedies since 2010, when a railway collision killed more than 140 people. India’s railways are the fourth largest railway system in the world, but they have a poor safety record, reported Reuters, where thousands of people are killed each year due to railway collisions and derailments. The crash according to Ved Prakash, spokesman for the railway, indicated the derailment could be the result of a “rail fracture.”
Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Railways, tweeted, “On behalf of the Railways and myself, I expressed deep condolences to the bereaved families and sincere sympathies to the injured.”
According to the New York Times, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that he would give the families of the victims 200,000 rupees, equivalent to about $3000, in addition to monies offered by Indian railways.
Uttar Pradesh police, the railway police, the National Disaster Response Force, and the State Health Department remain on the scene of the derailment to continue to search for victims and survivors on Monday.
Narendra Modi tweeted, “Anguished beyond words on the loss of lives due to the derailing of the Patna-Indore express. My thoughts are with the bereaved families.”
Written By Kamisha Lauture and Casey Jacobs