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India railway crash kills at least 275 people

At least 275 people have died in a railway crash in the eastern Odisha state of India. Authorities are investigating whether or not a signal failure caused the crash.

According to The New York Times, around 7 p.m. local time on Friday, a passenger train struck a stationary freight train at full speed, forcing it to collide with a second passenger train. Rescue workers have been pulling survivors from the wreckage over the last 48 hours. Officials say at least 275 people are dead and 1,100 are injured.

NBC News reports that authorities have confirmed a signal error led to the crash. Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told the reporters that the error caused the train to change tracks.

“The change in the electronic interlocking caused this accident and whoever did it and whatever are the reasons will be known after investigation,” Vaishnaw said in an interview with India’s ANI news agency on Sunday, according to NBC News.

Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi has also emphasized that the person found responsible will be punished “severely,” but many Indian citizens are calling for greater government accountability.

CNN reports that the crash is sparking anger throughout the country. Many people are calling for the government to address safety issues within the railway system that transports 13 million passengers each day.

According to The New York Times, the government has invested money into improving the railway system. From 1980 to about 2000, the country saw 475 derailments per year. Over the last decade, there have only been about 50 derailments per year.

But CNN says, that, despite some improvements, tracks are still deteriorating after years of neglect.

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