The train accident on Sunday morning that killed at least 143 people is one of India’s worst disasters on the tracks. Most of the victims died in their sleep.
The accident occurred at around 3 am when 14 compartments of the Patna-Indore Express were thrown off the track at Pukhrayan near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
It caused heavy death toll as the compartments rammed against each other; one of the compartment got flattened under the weight of another.
India has witnessed several train accidents in the past. Here is a list of 10 worst train disasters:
1.The worst train disaster that claimed over 600 lives occurred on June 6, 1981 on the track between Mansi and Saharsa in Bihar after a train plunged into the Bagmati river.
The rescue operation was terminated after around 250 bodies were fished out of water.
2. At least 358 people were killed on August 20, 1995 after Bhubaneswar-Delhi Purushottam Express crashed into the Kalindi Express near Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh.
The collision occurred when Kalindi Express was stationary on the tracks after it ran over a cow and the Purushottam Express was allowed to run on the same track.
3. At least 290 people died on August 2, 1999 after two trains – Avadh Assam Express from New Delhi and the Brahmaputra Mail from Dibrugarh – a collided at high speed at Gaisal station in Assam.
Among those killed were many Indian Army personnel who were going to be posted in the border.
The train accident occurred when due to signaling error the Brahmaputra Mail was allowed to run on the same track where the other train was stationary.
4. At least 212 people lost their lives on November 26, 1998 when the Jammu Tawi-Sealdah Express collided with six derailed coaches of the Frontier Golden Temple Mail near Khanna in Punjab.
The Jammu Tawi-Sealdah Express hit the Frontier Golden Temple Mail minutes after the latter got derailed and its compartment spilled over to the adjoining tracks.
5. Around 170 people were killed on May 28, 2010 after the Howrah Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Gyaneshwari Super Deluxe Express got derailed between Khemashuli and Sardiha in West Midnapore district of West Bengal and then hit a goods train on the adjoining track.
It was alleged by the police that the accident occurred because of a sabotage by the rebels of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). However, the CPI (Maoist) never owned up the responsibility.
6. Around 150 passengers were killed on December 23, 1964 when the Pamban-Dhanuskodi passenger train was washed away along with the track due to cyclone.
It was an accident where all the passengers drowned and there was no opportunity to rescue anyone.
7. Over 140 passengers were left dead after the Howrah-New Delhi Rajdhani Express got derailed near Rafiganj station in Bihar on September 9, 2002.
The cause of the derailment was attributed to tracks weakened due to heavy rain.
8. A total of 139 people were killed after a train plunged into Yasanti river, around 75 km from Hyderabad on September 28, 1954.
9. The collapse of a bridge caused a train accident near Mehbubnagar, about 100 km from Hyderabad on September 2, 1956. At least 125 people were killed in the accident.
10. This was the biggest train accident in the pre-Independence era. Around 119 people were killed when an express train from Kolkata plunged into a water body near Bihta station in Bihar on July 17, 1937.