A train crash in India has killed more than 280 people and put more than 900 in hospital in what is thought to have been the world’s deadliest train crash in decades.
The crash, which involved three trains, took place last night in the city of Balasore, India, and saw 10 to 12 carriages of one train being overturned, which led to a second train being affected, overturning an additional three carriages.
Local media has reported that a third train was involved, but officials have not yet confirmed this.
One passenger told theAssociated Presshow the calamity quickly unfolded.
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“As I stepped out of the washroom, suddenly the train tilted. I lost my balance. .Everything went topsy turvy. People started falling on each other and I was shocked and could not understand what happened. My mind stopped working,” she said.
Immediate reports suggested that just 10 people had died, but the death toll quickly rose as emergency services worked tirelessly through the night.
At least 280 bodies have so far been discovered, with many more injured being sent to be treated, as the state of Odisha, where the tragedy took place, declared a day of mourning for those who lost their lives.
There were reportedly so many injured passengers that local hospitals were hugely overwhelmed, forcing many of the more than 115 ambulances called to help to go to neighbouring towns and cities.
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Officials said that 1,200 rescuers worked with 115 ambulances, 50 buses and 45 mobile health units to get as many people to nearby health centres as possible.
On top of this, locals who witnessed the crash were quick to help survivors.
“The local people really went out on a limb to help us. They not only helped in pulling out people, but retrieved our luggage and got us water,” one survivor said.
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Despite having the largest and densest train networks in the world, India is notorious for suffering several hundred train accidents a year.
Most train accidents are blamed on human error or outdated signalling equipment.
More than 12 million people ride 14,000 trains across India every day, travelling on 40,000 miles of track.
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