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India scrambles after 2 trains derail

Associated Press / July 11, 2011

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FATEHPUR, India - Rescuers searched for survivors in the wreckage of a packed express train that derailed yesterday afternoon in northern India, killing at least 31 people, while officials said a second train derailment hundreds of miles to the northeast appeared to have been caused by a remote-controlled bomb.

Rescuers were working to reach the second derailment, which occurred late last night in a rural area of Assam state, injuring at least 100. The two railway incidents did not appear to be related.

In the first crash, the Kalka Mail train was on its way to Kalka, in the foothills of the Himalayas, from Howrah, a station near Calcutta in eastern India, when 12 coaches and the engine jumped the tracks at Malwan station, near the town of Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh state, a senior railway official said. The cause of the derailment was not immediately clear.

At least 31 people were killed and rescue workers pulled at least 100 injured passengers out of the wreckage, a state police official said.

Hours later, the second train derailed in the northeastern state of Assam, injuring at least 100 people, said a local magistrate. Local police suspect that a remote-control-triggered bomb caused four coaches of the Gauhati-Puri Express to be thrown off the tracks in the town of Rangiya.

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