Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday said the train derailment in West Bengal appeared to be an act of sabotage, but it was not yet clear whether explosives were used to blast the track.

“It appears to be a case of sabotage, where a portion of the track was removed. Whether explosives were used is not yet clear,” he said in a statement.

He said four teams of the National Disaster Response Force were deployed to assist the railway authorities in rescue and relief operations.

“A total of 132 personnel, with necessary equipment, have reached the tragedy site and are assisting the State government and the railway authorities.”

Mr. Chidambaram said he was deeply saddened by the tragedy. “I convey my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. I offer my sympathies to the injured.” Every effort was being made to rush the injured to hospital and helicopters were pressed into service for the purpose.

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