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Hirakand Express train derails in India, killing 32

Click to play video: 'Aftermath of India trail derailment leaving dozens dead' Aftermath of India trail derailment leaving dozens dead
WATCH ABOVE: Dozens of people were killed Saturday night when nine coaches of a passenger train derailed in eastern India – Jan 22, 2017

NEW DELHI – An overnight passenger train derailed in southern India, killing at least 32 people and injuring 50 others in the latest accident to hit the country’s massive, disaster-prone rail network.

Seven coaches of the Hirakand Express were thrown off the tracks around midnight Saturday, some landing on a goods train that was on a parallel track, said Divisional Railway manager Chandralekha Mukherji.

Rescue workers were trying to cut open the mangled coaches Sunday morning near the Kuneru railway station in the Vizianagram district of Andhra Pradesh state. The train was travelling between Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh state to Bhuvaneshawar in Orissa.

READ MORE: New York City commuter train derailment injures over 100 in Brooklyn

J.P. Misra, the chief press officer of the East Coast Railways, said that the toll could rise further as many people were still trapped. An investigation is underway.

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In November, 146 people were killed when a packed passenger train derailed near the town of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh in the deadliest rail accident in the country in at least five years.

India’s railway system is the world’s third largest, but is severely hampered by a lack of modern signalling and communication systems as well as poor maintenance of tracks and equipment. Manual signalling is still used at several places, raising the risk of human error.

Rescuers lifted an injured passenger out of a Hirakhand express train from Jagdalpur to Bhubaneswar after coaches of the passenger train derailed near Kuneri station, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, outside the town of Rayagada, India, in this still image from video January 22, 2017. ANI via REUTERS TV

According to a government report in 2012, about 15,000 people are killed every year in train accidents. The worst occurred in 1981, when a train fell into the Baghmati River in northern India, killing nearly 800 people.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged last year to invest $137 billion over the next five years to modernize the railway network, which is used by about 23 million passengers a day.

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On Sunday, Modi tweeted his condolences for those killed in the most recent accident and said that the railway ministry was monitoring the situation closely.

READ MORE: 2 killed, 61 injured in train derailment in northern India (Dec. 2016) 

Click to play video: 'Raw video: Aftermath of deadly train derailment in northern India' Raw video: Aftermath of deadly train derailment in northern India
Raw video: Aftermath of deadly train derailment in northern India – Dec 28, 2016

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