Last updated: 02:09 PM ET, Sat March 21 2015

India Train Derails, Killing at Least 34

Car Rental & Rail | Michael Isenbek | March 21, 2015

India Train Derails, Killing at Least 34

Photo courtesy of Press Trust of India

The Janta Express passenger line, running between Dehradun and the holy city of Varanasi violently derailed near the village of Bachhrawan in the state of Uttar Pradesh, killing at least 34 and injuring dozens, according to the BBC.

While the state's junior railway minister Manoj Sinha announced that an accident inquiry has been ordered to find out the exact cause, the result of derailment was obvious at the scene. One of two passenger coaches was completely crushed, and a combination of villagers, police, and railway guards came out in force to try and rescue the trapped passengers.

India has been the scene of many train accidents in the last few years, resulting in the death of hundreds. Last month, 11 died after the Bangalore-Ernakulam Intercity Express derailed in the southern state of Karnataka.

A Delhi BBC correspondent spoke of the state-run railway system has a patchy safety record - tracks and signals have been left to decay without upgrade, and anti-collision technologies are antiquated.

There seems to be preliminary plans to improve the ailing railway system. Last month, the Indian government revealed plans to invest $137 billion, five-year modernization plan for the network.

There are 12,000 passenger trains operating on India's railway network, with about  23 million passengers riding every day.

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