10 die in train derailment in India's Uttar Pradesh

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The deadly train derailment in India's Uttar Pradesh could be the result of sabotage, Chief Public Relations Officer of Northern Railway Neeraj Sharma told Sputnik on Saturday.

The train was the Kalinga-Utkal Express, which connects the Hindu holy city of Haridwar with the temple town of Puri, in the eastern state of Orissa.

Eight of the train's coaches derailed and toppled over each other, police said.

The injured were taken to a hospital, where doctors described their condition as stable.

A police official earlier said 20 people had been injured but did not mention any people killed.

The national authorities have sent disaster teams to help. "Rescue and relief operations are continuing", G S Priyadarshi, a civil official at the accident site, told AFP.

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"Scores of people have been safely evacuated from the coaches".

In January almost 40 people were killed when eight coaches and the engine of a passenger train derailed in the forest area of southern Andra Pradesh.

Saturday's accident is at least the fourth major passenger train derailment this year and the third in Uttar Pradesh in 2017.

The death toll in the the northern state of Uttar Pradesh was expected to rise, officials said. "I am personally monitoring the situation".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has pledged to invest $137 billion over five years to modernize the crumbling railway network, making it safer, faster and more efficient.

India's state railways, built during British colonial rule, have an appalling safety record after decades of low investment and have prioritized keeping fares low for the 23 million passengers who use the network every day.

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