MUMBAI (Reuters) - A passenger train slipped off the rails in northern India early on Friday, killing at least three people and injuring about 10, the railways ministry said.
The train was on its way from Goa in western India to Patna in the east when 13 coaches derailed, the ministry said. It did not provide any reason for the accident, which occurred in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
Television news agency ANI however quoted the Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General of police as saying that the cause of accident is most probably a fractured railway track “as per local assessment.”
A medical train and a relief train had reached the accident spot, the railways said.
India has seen a spate of rail accidents over the last 12 months. Earlier in August, there were three separate incidents on the world’s fourth-biggest rail network injuring over 165 people and killing several others.
The biggest accident so far this year was on Aug. 19 in Uttar Pradesh, which resulted in the death of 23 people and led to the suspension of three senior railways officials. A crash in Uttar Pradesh last November killed 150 people.
India’s ailing rail network is in the midst of a $130 billion, five-year modernization process.
In addition, the government launched a $15 billion safety overhaul in February after the surge in accidents blamed on defective tracks.
But in June, Reuters reported that the overhaul was facing delays as the state steel company could not meet demand for new rails. [nL3N1JO1TU]
Reporting by Swati Bhat; Editing by Kim Coghill