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Two major train mishaps jar India

DELHI, India, July 10 (UPI) -- Two train mishaps -- one a derailment and the second a suspected terrorist attack -- left at least 35 people dead and 300 hurt in India Sunday, officials said.

The fatalities occurred in northern India when a passenger train bound for Delhi jumped the tracks. More than 200 others were injured in the crash, which the Press Trust of India called the worst train wreck in India this year.

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In the second incident, no fatalities were reported but more than 100 passengers were injured, 15 seriously, when the Guwahati-Puri Express derailed after an explosion on the tracks near Rangiya about 8:30 p.m., The Times of India reported. Authorities had not confirmed or denied an attack had taken place but passengers and people living nearby reported hearing an explosion moments before the train left the tracks.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ordered troops to help deal with the derailment wreckage and issued a statement expressing concern over the crash, which was the second rail accident in Uttar Pradesh in a week, the BBC said. A train struck a bus Thursday, killing 38.

Between 13 and 15 cars of the Kalka Mail train derailed near the town of Fatehpur as it traveled to Delhi from Howrah, which is near Calcutta.

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"We were sitting in our seats when suddenly everything turned upside down," one passenger told CNN-IBN television. "When the train stopped we broke the glass windows to jump out on the track."

In the suspected attack by militants, four coaches behind the locomotive left the tracks and fell into a ditch at Bhatkuchi near the Nona River, The Times of India said.

Passengers said they heard a blast that caused the train to shake and then derail. Local people said they heard the explosion, as well.

"There was a loud explosion and it was total chaos after that," local resident Dhanmoni Das said.

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