Two passenger trains derailed Friday in India, killing more than 200 people and trapping hundreds of others inside more than a dozen damaged rail cars, officials said.
The accident that happened about 137 miles southwest of Kolkata created a chaotic scene of twisted wreckage and desperate rescuers as teams tried to free passengers and recover bodies. The cause was under investigation.
About 900 people were injured in the accident, Odisha state’s top bureaucrat, P.K. Jena, said in a tweet.
The death toll rose steadily throughout the night. As dawn approached, the top bureaucrat in the eastern state of Odisha announced that at least 207 were dead.
In the aftermath, television images showed rescuers climbing atop the wreckage to break open doors and windows and using cutting torches to free survivors.
Officials said 1,200 rescuers worked with 115 ambulances, 50 buses and 45 mobile health units through the night at the accident site.
Another survivor who did not give his name said he was sleeping when the impact woke him up. He said he saw other passengers with broken limbs and disfigured faces.
The Press Trust said the derailed Coromandel Express was traveling from Howrah in West Bengal state to Chennai, the capital of southern Tamil Nadu state.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his thoughts were with the bereaved families.
In August 1995, two trains collided near New Delhi, killing 358 people in the worst train accident in India’s history.
In 2016, a passenger train slid off the tracks between the cities of Indore and Patna, killing 146 people.
Most train accidents are blamed on human error or outdated signaling equipment.