A train came off the tracks in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, killing at least 23 people and wounding more than 100 as carriages slammed into each other, the local chief medical officer said.

TV channel CNN News18 put the death toll at 20 in the crash close to Muzaffarnagar, about 130 km (80 miles) north of the capital New Delhi.

Railways spokesman Anil Saxena said he could not confirm the number of casualties but said at least five carriages derailed.

Television footage showed several mangled carriages piled up on each other while people looked for wounded in a crowd of people as night fell.

The national authorities have sent disaster teams to help.

"We have mobilized all our resources to provide the best relief and rescue operations at this time," Saxena told TV channels.