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August 5, 2015

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Two Indian trains derail killing at least 24 people

Two passenger trains in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh have derailed killing at least 24 people, officials have said.

The trains derailed minutes apart on a partially flooded bridge while passing each other.

A railway spokesperson said that heavy rain had caused river levels to rise, submerging the track.

 

Officials say at least 25 people have been injured and another 300 rescued. The Press Trust of India reported that it was not clear how many passengers the trains had been carrying.

Rescuers worked through the night, mostly in darkness, trying to free those trapped. Officials have said the death toll could rise slightly.

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted that he had ordered an inquiry and that he would make a full statement to the Indian parliament later on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also expressed concern, and offered condolences to the relatives of those who died.

There have been ongoing concerns around the state of India’s state-run railway network, which carries about 23 million passengers every day.

A passenger train derailed in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh in March, where 34 people were killed and in February last year, at least 11 people died after three coaches of the Bangalore-Ernakulam Intercity Express derailed in the southern state of Karnataka.

The railway network is said to have a patchy safety record with little investment in upgrading the tracks and signals.

 

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