Communications About Train Derailment in India

More than 140 people died, and dozens more were injured when a train derailed in Uttar Pradesh State, India. Although the cause isn't yet determined, one theory is a crack in the rail, which may be one of dozens on the country's tracks.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu visited the site and said, "Right now the immediate priority is rescue people and to bring relief to those injured and that's what we are doing." He later gave a statement to a reactive audience.

According to a CNN report, the train system employs 1.3 million people and serves 23 million passengers every day. The rail system has been criticized for poor maintenance: 

India's sprawling rail system is state-run, and the government is being heavily criticized on the nation's television networks. The rail system is known to be poorly maintained, and upgrades have been long overdue. In its last budget, the government put aside large sums of money to modernize the system, to improve traffic lights and lay more rail tracks.

According to a BBC report, "Train accidents are fairly common in India, where much of the railway equipment is out of date. An accident in Uttar Pradesh in March last year killed 39 people and injured 150." In 2014, 27,581 people died in train-related accidents in India. 

Discussion Starters:

  • How would you describe the setting where Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu is speaking? How does this compare to similar situations in the United States?
  • What should Prabhu say in his statement?