India

India train crash toll rises to 23

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Media captionFootage showed rescuers searching through the mangled wreckage

Indian railway officials say the number of people who died after a passenger train derailed and hit a stationary goods train in Uttar Pradesh state on Monday has risen to 23.

Six coaches of the Gorakhdham Express went off the rails and ploughed into the freight train at Chureb station.

Rescuers were searching through the last of the mangled coaches on Tuesday.

Officials fear the number of dead could rise further as at least 15 of the 52 injured are in a critical condition.

"We can confirm 23 deaths now," public relations officer of the North-East Railways Alok Kumar Singh told BBC Hindi on Tuesday morning.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a payment of 200,000 rupees ($3,389; £2,000) to each of the families of the dead.

The train was travelling from Gorakhpur town to Hisar in Haryana state.

India's railway network operates 9,000 passenger trains and carries some 18 million passengers every day.

There have been numerous train accidents in recent years, killing hundreds of people.

In December, 26 people died in a fire which engulfed a carriage of the Nanded-Bangalore Express while it was travelling through southern Andhra Pradesh state.

In August, 28 people were killed after being hit by an express train while crossing the tracks in the state of Bihar.

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