At least two persons have been killed and 26 injured after 15 coaches of the Sealdah-Ajmer Express derailed near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh this morning.
Two of the passengers brought out of the wrecked coaches have died in hospital, confirmed Kanpur police chief Zaki Ahmed. Eight people are believed to be in a critical state.
In dense early morning fog, the coaches went off track when the train was crossing a bridge over a dry canal, nearly 70 km from Kanpur. Two coaches toppled off the bridge and fell into the canal bed.
A passenger said he was woken up by a loud bang. "Our coach tilted to one side. I jumped out and saw a few coaches were derailed," Rizwan Chaudhary told Associated Press.
A medical relief train from Kanpur has been sent to the accident site. "Currently we are focusing on relief and rescue operations," Railway spokesperson Anil Saxena told reporters.
Javeed Ahmed, Uttar Pradesh's top police officer, said all the passengers have been brought out of the derailed coaches. Television images showed coaches lying on their sides.
"Immediate medical help being provided to the injured. Mobilized resources,directed all concerned to ensure rescue and relief," tweeted Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.
"Thorough investigation will be carried out to ascertain the cause," Mr Prabhu said in another tweet, adding that he was personally monitoring the efforts.