India seeks reasons behind train accidents

India seeks reasons behind train accidents

NEW DELHI - Reuters
India seeks reasons behind train accidents India began investigating on Aug. 20 a train crash in which 23 people were killed, the fourth major accident over the past year on the world's fourth biggest rail network which is grappling with chronic under-investment and over-crowding.

The cause of the derailment about 130 km north of the capital New Delhi, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, was not known, said Northern Railways spokesman Neeraj Sharma.

Thirteen coaches of the train came off the tracks as it was heading to the Hindu holy city of Haridwar, police said. 

The toll rose to 23 dead with at least 123 people injured.

Train crashes are all too common in India after decades of poor investment and rising demand, which usually mean packed trains are running on creaking infrastructure.

The accident is at least the fourth major accident this year and the third in Uttar Pradesh in 2017. 

A crash in November in Uttar Pradesh killed 150 people. The network is in the middle of a $130 billion, five-year modernisation. 

In addition, the government launched a $15 billion safety overhaul in February after the surge in accidents blamed on defective tracks.

But in June, the overhaul was facing delays as the state steel company could not meet demand for new rails.