31 dead, 100 injured as train derails in India

A Kalka Mail passenger train, which derailed Sunday near the town of Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh state, India, was on its way to New Delhi when it jumped the tracks.

Associated Press

A Kalka Mail passenger train, which derailed Sunday near the town of Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh state, India, was on its way to New Delhi when it jumped the tracks.

FATEHPUR, India — Rescuers searched for survivors in the wreckage of an express train that derailed in northern India Sunday afternoon, killing at least 60 people, while officials said a second train derailment hundreds of miles to the northeast appeared to have been caused by a remote-controlled bomb.

Rescuers were working to reach the second derailment, which occurred late Sunday night in a rural area of Assam state, injuring at least 100. The two railway incidents did not appear to be related.

In the first crash, the Kalka Mail train was on its way to Kalka, in the foothills of the Himalayas, from eastern India when 12 coaches and the engine jumped the tracks near the town of Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh state, senior railway official A.K. Jain said.

The cause of the derailment was not immediately clear but it appeared that the driver applied the emergency brakes, Jain said.

Rescue workers pulled at least 100 injured passengers out of the wreckage, said Brij Lal, a state police official. Rescuers made their way through the coaches and used gas cutters to cut through the mangled metal in search of survivors, Lal said.

Hours later, the second train derailed in the northeastern state of Assam, injuring at least 100 people, said S.K. Roy, a local magistrate.

Local police suspect that a remote control-triggered bomb caused four coaches of the Guwahati-Puri Express to be thrown off the tracks in the town of Rangiya, about 30 miles west of the state's capital, Guwahati, Roy said.

S. Hajong, a local railways spokesman, said two of the four coaches plunged into a pond and casualties are feared.

Roy did not blame any rebel group and no one has taken responsibility for the attack so far. More than 30 groups in northeastern India have been fighting for decades for independence or wide autonomy in the region, about 1,000 miles east of New Delhi.

31 dead, 100 injured as train derails in India 07/10/11 [Last modified: Monday, July 11, 2011 1:15am]

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