India train accident injures at least 42

Onlookers gather around the crash site of an Indian train accident in Auraiya district in Uttar Pradesh state. (AFP)

At least 42 passengers were injured Wednesday after several cars of an express train derailed in northern India, police said, four days after another rail accident killed 23 people in the country.

The train crashed into a truck in northern Uttar Pradesh before dawn, causing 12 carriages to flip over, Indian Railways spokesman Anil Saxena told AFP.

"We have rushed emergency teams for rescue and relief operations and all the injured have been taken to hospital," Saxena said.

District police chief Sanjeev Tyagi told AFP from the scene of the accident that "around 42 people were injured in the accident, most of them with simple injuries."

The accident is the second to hit India's most populous state in less than a week after a high-speed train derailed and crashed into residential buildings on Saturday, killing 23 people and injuring 150 others.

India's railway network is the world's fourth largest by distance and remains the main form of travel in the vast country, with 22 million passengers commuting daily.

But the network is poorly funded and deadly accidents often occur, with experts blaming under-investment and poor safety standards for the frequency of incidents.

Less than a year ago 146 people died in a similar accident in Uttar Pradesh.

A 2012 government report described the loss of 15,000 passengers to rail accidents every year in India as a "massacre".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged $137 billion over five years to modernise the crumbling railways and his government has signed numerous upgrading deals with private companies.

Japan has agreed to provide $12 billion in soft loans to build India's first bullet train, with Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tipped to break ground on the project in September.