Emergency workers and crowds of local people rushed to the site where 14 coaches derailed near Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh state, some 130 kilometres (80 miles) from New Delhi, the latest deadly disaster on the country's creaking rail network.
"Twenty-three people died and 64 others were injured in the accident".
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath directed all officials to ensure proper treatment of the injured passengers.
"The injured were taken to local medical facility", the official said.
Additional Superintendent of Police, Muzaffarnagar, Ajay Kumar told IANS that police teams were trying to rescue as many passengers trapped in the coaches as possible.
"Scores of people have been safely evacuated from the coaches", fire and emergency officer Naresh Kumar told AFP.
The Kalinga-Utkal Express connects the northern Hindu holy city of Haridwar with the temple town of Puri in eastern India. The railway system carries more than 22 million passengers a day and much of the equipment is out of date. It comes just a week after dozens of children died at a hospital that had run out of oxygen there.
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Meanwhile, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed grief over the accident.
Accidents are relatively common on India's massive but poorly maintained railway network.
Rescuers and local people in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh worked into the night searching for survivors in the overturned and mangled carriages. The impact of the derailment was so strong that one bogie crashed into another, leaving several passengers trapped inside.
Eight of the train's coaches derailed and toppled over each other, police said.
A crash in November in Uttar Pradesh killed 150 people.
The Indian government in 2015 announced an investment of over 137 billion US dollars over a period of five years to boost railways and modernise it on new lines.