At least 19 people killed in Indian train crash

The engine and four coaches derailed about 70 miles from Mumbai on Sunday

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The Independent Online

At least 19 people have been killed and more than 100 injured, after a train derailed in western India on Sunday, officials have said.

The engine and four coaches jumped the tracks near Roha station, 70 miles (110 kilometres) south of Mumbai, Maharashtra state, police officer Ankush Shinde said.

Rescuers used gas cutters to open the derailed coaches and reach those trapped inside; cranes were employed to remove these coaches from the rail track.

Two of the derailed coaches tilted on to one side and one overturned, said railway spokesman Anil Kumar Saxena.

The rescue operation was continuing and the death toll was expected to rise, police said.

Mr Saxena said that 123 passengers had been taken to hospital with injuries, some in s serious cinditon.

The cause of the derailment was not immediately known. Rail authorities ordered an investigation into the accident, Mr Saxena said.

Trains travelling through the area were suspended as the derailed coaches and the rescue operation blocked an adjacent track as well.

Railway accidents are common in India, which has one of the world's largest train networks and serves 20 million passengers a day.

Most accidents are blamed on poor maintenance and human error.

In March an 18-year-old student was killed and nine people injured when six coaches of a train derailed from the rest of the vehicle at Tiwala, near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai.

Additional reporting by agencies