At least 288 people have been killed and hundreds more injured in a three-train collision in India, the country’s deadliest rail accident in more than 20 years, officials said on Saturday.
Wreckage debris was piled high at the crash site near Balasore, in the eastern state of Odisha, where some carriages had been tossed far from the tracks and others flipped over entirely.
Smashed train compartments were torn open in the impact late on Friday, leaving blood-stained holes in their sides.
Survivor Arjun Das told a Bengali television channel he heard a thundering sound, then saw people falling from upper berths.
He jumped out of the train. “People were screaming, shouting for help,” he said.
“There were injured lying everywhere inside coaches and along the tracks. I want to forget the scenes.”
Authorities have said every hospital between the crash site and the state capital Bhubaneswar around 200 kilometres (125 miles) away was receiving victims, with 200 ambulances — and even buses — deployed to transport them.
The disaster comes despite new investments and upgrades in technology that have significantly improved railway safety in recent years.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi — who officials said would visit the crash site and hospitals later Saturday — said he was “distressed by the train accident”.
“In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon,” he tweeted.