Biden ‘heartbroken’ after India train derailment kills 275 people

President Biden said late Saturday he and first lady Jill Biden are “heartbroken” over a train derailment in eastern India that killed at least 275 people, with local officials blaming an electronic signaling system malfunction for the tragedy.

Hundreds more were injured in the weekend crash in the Balasore district of India’s Odisha state. Nearly 3,000 people were on board.

“Jill and I are heartbroken by the tragic news of the deadly train crash in India,” the president said in a statement. “Our prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones and the many who suffered injuries in this terrible incident. The United States and India share deep bonds rooted in the ties of family and culture that unite our two nations — and people all across America mourn alongside the people of India. As the recovery effort continues, we will hold the people of India in our thoughts.”

It’s one of the country’s worst train disasters in decades and comes amid a major nationwide effort to modernize the country’s aging rail infrastructure.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the crash site Saturday and said the government will do everything in its power to aid the victims and their families.

He also promised punishment for anyone deemed responsible for the crash.

Officials said an investigation is underway to determine whether the signaling system malfunction was due to technical failure or human error.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

Source: WT