In a heavy train accident, more than 100 people have been killed in India. At least 200 people were injured. The first politicians are already trying to exploit the incident.

At least 14 of the blue wagons jumped out of the tracks shortly after three o’clock in the early morning hours, when it was still dark and most passengers slept. Ravinder Pathak has survived the misfortune. He sits with other survivors on a free field next to the destroyed train and waits for the arrival of buses to take him and the others from the place of horror. Some weigh themselves back and forth, others pray.

Heavy train accident in India

“Suddenly there was a massive shock,” says Pathak. “Our heads were thrown under the roof of the train compartment and then back again, the door did not open, but we managed to get it out somehow, when we were outside in the dark, we saw that the train was derailed, my five fellow travelers have disappeared.”

Pathak sat in the car with the number S5. The two waggons behind the locomotive were particularly badly destroyed. They were transformed by the force of the accident into a ball of metal with torn wheels and torn side struts. It took time for helpers with cutters and cutters to be on site. Ambulances were not available immediately. The rescue work only took off when it grew light.

“We are now working on high-speed trains and are reaching more and more victims, and the number of deaths is rising, especially two waggons are seriously affected,” says a high-ranking police officer at the disaster site. In the meantime, there are also a lot of people on the road. Some make self-help.

The Patna-Indore Express was on its way from the northeast to the center of India. The disaster occurred in the country near the industrial city of Kanpur in the state of Uttar-Pradesh. The cause is not yet known.

Minister of Railways Prabhu announced a full investigation. Indian media speculate on a broken track. The Patna-Indore-Express derailed about half of its more than 1,400-kilometer-long distance, for which he would have needed 27 hours of travel time. The express train usually has 21 wagons and can transport more than 1000 passengers.

Compensation payments for dependents

Train gaps are not a rarity in India. The Indian rail network is one of the largest in the world. Every day, over 20 million people travel in this vast country by train. But the Indian railway has gotten old. The net is ailing. Large parts of the infrastructure are still from the time of the British colonialists.

Prime Minister Modi, Minister of Railways Prabhu and the Prime Minister of the affected State of Uttar Pradesh have now given compensation to the injured and the families of the victims. In Uttar Pradesh there are important regional elections in three months. Even now, politicians from all parties are trying to exploit the heavy draw for themselves.