New Delhi, India (BBN)-Rescuers have worked through the night to pull survivors out of a deadly train crash in India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state.
At least 120 people are dead after the Indore-Patna Express derailed at 03:00 local time on Sunday (21:30 GMT Saturday), near the city of Kanpur, reports BBC.
The death toll could rise as workers reach the worst-hit carriages.
The cause of the crash is not known, though reports said a track fracture could be to blame.
Train accidents are fairly common in India, where much of the railway equipment is out of date.
Early on Monday the railway ministry published a list of names of injured passengers.
Out of the 131 listed, 58 were said to be “grievously injured”. Earlier reports quoted officials as saying more than 150 people were injured.
The derailment had the strongest impact on the first two carriages of the train behind the engine, which crashed into each other and overturned. Most of the victims were located in these carriages.
Rescuers have been using metal cutters, torches and cranes to open up the carriages and extricate people.
According to the Indian Express the carriages were outdated and known for piling up in accidents. The report said the government had promised earlier this year to upgrade all trains.
Daljeet Chaudhary, a director general of police, told the Associated Press that he expected the death toll to rise as rescue workers had yet to gain access to one of the worst-damaged carriages.
The train may have also been carrying far more passengers that it was supposed to, reports said.
Although the official number of passengers was about 1,200, the Times of India said as many as another 500 could have been on the train without tickets, citing unnamed railway officials as sources.
Survivors, most of whom were sleeping at the time of the crash, described horrific scenes.
“I woke up suddenly around 3.10am and felt a tremor. The train came to a screeching halt. All of a sudden, I was crushed under a crowd of people… everyone was screaming for help,” survivor Yaqoob Ahmed told the Hindustan Times.
“There was a loud sound like an earthquake. I fell from my berth and a lot of luggage fell over me,” another passenger named Ramchandra Tewari was quoted by AP as saying. “I thought I was dead, and then I passed out.”
Krishna Keshav, who was on the train, told the BBC: “We woke with a jolt…. Several coaches were derailed, everybody was in shock. I saw several bodies and injured people.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Anguished beyond words on the loss of lives due to the derailing of the Patna-Indore express. My thoughts are with the bereaved families.
“Prayers with those injured in the tragic train accident.”
Modi also promised compensation to the victims’ relatives and injured passengers, and said he had spoken to Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu.
On his own Twitter account, Prabhu warned that “strictest possible action will be taken against those who could be responsible for accident”.
Bihar, 6 Jun 1981: 250 deaths confirmed as passenger train derails on a bridge and plunges into the Baghmati river. Hundreds more are never found, with an estimated death toll ranging from 500 to 800
Firozabad, 20 Aug 1995: 358 people are killed as an express train hits a stationary express train
Gaisal, Assam, 2 Aug 1999: At least 290 killed as two trains carrying a total of 2,500 people collide
Khanna, 26 Nov 1998: At least 212 killed as a train collides with a derailed train
Rafiganj, 10 Sept 2002: Rajdhani Express derails on bridge, killing at least 130
West Midnapore, West Bengal, 28 May 2010: The Calcutta-Mumbai passenger train derails, killing at least 100. Police blame Maoist sabotage of the track
Kanpur is a major railway junction and hundreds of trains pass through it every day.
Last year, the government announced investments of $137bn (£111bn) over five years to modernise and expand the railways.