Passenger train derails in northern India, at least three dead

A 2012 government report said almost 15,000 people were killed every year on India’s railways and described the loss of life as an annual “massacre.” (Reuters)
Updated 24 November 2017
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Passenger train derails in northern India, at least three dead

NEW DELHI: Thirteen coaches of an express train derailed in northern India early Friday throwing sleeping passengers from their seats in a new disaster that left three dead and nine injured.
The Vasco Da Gama Express flipped off the tracks in thick fog soon after leaving Manikpur station in Uttar Pradesh state, police said.
The train was heading for the Bihar state capital of Patna when the accident took place at 4:15 am when most travelers were asleep.
“Three passengers were killed and nine others are injured. We have evacuated those trapped inside the wagons and taken the injured to hospitals,” local police chief Pratap Gopendra Singh said.
The dead included a six-year-old boy and his father.
Singh said the blanket of fog over the region hampered the rescue operation. He said a fractured rail was suspected to have caused the accident.
Local television footage showed emergency workers clearing the site and upturned coaches near the tracks.
Traffic on the main rail link was disrupted for several hours.
The accident is the latest disaster to hit India’s creaking railways.
India’s railway network is the main form of long-distance travel, but is poorly funded, and deadly accidents often occur.
Four people were killed on Thursday when a train hit their vehicle at an unmanned railway crossing near Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh capital.
The latest accident happened on the first anniversary of a derailment in the same state in which 146 people died.
Twenty-three passengers were killed in August after several coaches of an express train derailed and crashed into a college building in Uttar Pradesh.
A 2012 government report said almost 15,000 people were killed every year on India’s railways and described the loss of life as an annual “massacre.”


Afghan attack won’t change Kandahar security situation — US Defense chief Mattis

Updated 18 min 48 sec ago
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Afghan attack won’t change Kandahar security situation — US Defense chief Mattis

  • The Taliban have claimed responsibility for Thursday’s shooting in Kandahar
  • The attack killed anti-Taliban strongman and police chief General Abdul Raziq

SINGAPORE: US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday the killing of a top Afghan official would not fundamentally change the security situation in Kandahar province.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for Thursday’s shooting in the restive southern province that killed anti-Taliban strongman and police chief, General Abdul Raziq.
At least two other people died during the attack inside a fortified government compound in Kandahar city that targeted a high-level security meeting.
The top commander for US and NATO forces, General Scott Miller, was also present but escaped injury.
Mattis said he did not see Raziq’s death as changing things on the ground in Kandahar.
“I’ve seen the officers around him. I’ve seen the maturation of the Afghan security forces,” Mattis told reporters on the sidelines of a security summit in Singapore.
“It’s a tragic loss of a patriot for Afghanistan. But I don’t see it having a long-term effect on our area.”
The Pentagon chief said it was too early to know if the assault would hamper turnout for parliamentary elections set for October 20.