Seven people were killed and 29 injured when nine coaches of a New Delhi-bound train derailed early Sunday in eastern India, officials said.
Most of the passengers were asleep when the train jumped the tracks. Soon after the accident, hundreds of villagers rushed to help rescuers and members of India’s disaster management to pull out people trapped in the twisted metal and overturned coaches.
Indian Railways official Rajesh Dutt Bajpai said that by noon Sunday, the rescue work was over. Two of the injured were in critical condition, he said.The cause of the accident is being investigated. The Press Trust of India news agency said a rail fracture appeared to have caused the derailment about 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Patna, the Bihar state capital.
India’s vast railway system is the world’s third largest but lacks modern signaling and communication systems. Most accidents are blamed on poor maintenance, outdated equipment and human error.
In 2016, 127 people were killed after 14 coaches derailed in Uttar Pradesh state, in one of India’s worst train accidents.