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5 killed, 50 injured in Indian train derailment

200 rescued, 500 could still be trapped inside

JAUNPUR, India | May 31, 2012

At least five people were killed and more than 50 injured Thursday when a Doon Express train derailed near Jaunpur, India, officials said.

At least one public official said sabotage could be behind the accident, The Times of India reported.

"Since the accident has taken place during a countrywide bandh [a form of protest], we want this to be probed," Trinamool Congress chief and former railway Minister Mamata Bannerjee said. "Who has caused this mishap? It has to be seen whether this is truly an accident or an incident."

She said she received information that the assistant locomotive pilot saw something on the track and engaged the emergency brakes, leading to the derailment.

The Times said faulty rail track initially is being considered the cause. Some officials said the derailment may have been caused by track expansion due to high temperatures.

Current railway Minister Mukul Roy was heading to Jaunpur to the site of the six-coach derailment of the Dehradun-bound Howrah-Dehradun Doon Express.

Roy said relatives of the deceased and injured would be compensated.

Villagers rescued about 200 passengers, but reports indicated more than 500 people could still be trapped inside the rail cars, the Times said.

The rail company sent three trains to the site to take stranded passengers to Lucknow and Varanasi.

Officials said the track could be cleared by Friday afternoon.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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