At least 290 people have been killed and approximately 1,000 are injured after three trains collided in the state of Odisha in India.

According to BBC, a passenger train derailed onto an adjacent track and was hit by an incoming train on Friday, also colliding with a nearby stationary freight train.

It is not yet clear what caused the crash, which is India's worst in over 20 years.

However, senior state railway officials told CNN that the cause is suspected to be a traffic signaling failure.

According to officials, several carriages from the Coromandel Express train traveling between Kolkata and Chennai derailed at about 7:00p.m. local time in Odisha's in Balasore district after hitting a stationary goods train. As a result, several of the passenger train's coaches ended up on the opposite track.

Following this, a Howrah Superfast Express train traveling in the opposite direction, from Yesvantpur to Howrah, hit the overturned passenger carriages.

Atul Karwal, chief of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) told ANI news agency, "The force with which the trains collided has resulted in several coaches being crushed and mangled."

All of the passengers who were trapped or injured have been evacuated, BBC said.

On Saturday, India's Railways Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, said that a "high-level inquiry" has been ordered into the collision.

CNN quoted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as saying, "We can’t bring back those we have lost but the government is with them (families) in their grief. This incident is very serious for the government … Whoever is found guilty will be punished severely."

He added that the government will "leave no stone unturned.”