Two passenger trains have derailed in India, killing at least 50 people and trapping hundreds of others inside more than a dozen damaged coaches, officials said.
About 400 people were injured and taken to hospital after the accident, which happened on Friday nearly 1,000 miles northwest of the capital New Delhi, officials said.
Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde, the top administrator in Balasore district, said at least 50 people were dead.
Nearly 500 police officers and rescue workers with 75 ambulances and buses responded to the accident, said Pradeep Jena, the top bureaucrat of the Odisha state.
Rescuers were attempting to free 200 people feared trapped in the wreckage, said Mr Shinde.
Amitabh Sharma, a railway ministry spokesman, said 10 to 12 coaches of one train derailed, and debris from some of the mangled coaches fell on to a nearby track, which was hit by another passenger train coming from the opposite direction.
Up to three coaches of the second train also derailed.
The Press Trust of India news agency said the derailed Coromandel Express was travelling from Howrah in West Bengal state to Chennai, the capital of southern Tamil Nadu state.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi said he was distressed by the accident.
“In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon,” tweeted Mr Modi, who said he had spoken to the railway minister and that “all possible assistance” was being offered.
Despite government efforts to improve rail safety, several hundred accidents occur every year on India’s railways, the largest train network under one management in the world.