Hundreds more have been injured after a major train collision in eastern India
Two passenger trains and a freight train collided in the eastern Indian state of Odisha late on Friday. The accident has left at least 50 people dead and hundreds injured, with some 200 people still feared trapped under the debris.
The exact circumstances and causes of the derailment still remain unclear. Two passenger trains suffered a head-on collision, reports on the accident indicate.
Footage from the scene shows multiple overturned train cars at the site, with first responders and civilians searching through the wreckage. Some of the cars appear to be badly damaged and bent, apparently due to the impact of the oncoming train.
"In Balasore, 10-12 coaches of the Coromandel Express train, traveling from Howrah to Chennai, derailed and encroached on to the opposite track, which led to the derailment of 3-4 coaches of a train traveling from Yeshwanthpur to Howrah," railway spokesperson Amitabh Sharma has said.
The resulting pile-up killed at least 50 people, according to Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde, the top administrator in Balasore, the district where the derailment took place. Some 200 people are feared trapped in the wreckage, he added.
Between 300 and 400 people also suffered injuries in the crash and ended up hospitalized, according to local officials.
The accident has prompted the cancellation of multiple trains on the affected route, which is considered to be one of the most important and busy railway arteries of India's east.