Lucknow (Agencies): Death toll escalated to 20 after five more youths succumbed to their injuries in train rooftop accident in Uttar Pradesh, officials said on Wednesday.

However, authorities continue to play the blame game over why hundreds of youths were allowed to sit atop a train, which led to the victims being crushed by an over-bridge.

The accident occurred at Shajahanpur on Tuesday and the victims were youths who had assembled in nearby Bareilly for a recruitment drive of the paramilitary Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

Three of the 14 injured have died, taking the casualties to 17.

"While one of them died while being taken to Lucknow for specialised treatment, two others succumbed to their injuries later in the night," said Shahjahanpur district magistrate Ajay Chauhan.

Fourteen had died on Tuesday afternoon, when they were sitting atop a train and crashed head on into an overbridge at Shahjahanpur. The superfast Jammu-Howrah Himgiri Express was passing under the bridge with hundreds of the youths perched on its rooftop. Shahjahanpur is barely 60 km from Bareilly.

"Apparently, while some of the rooftop riders managed to save themselves by lying down flat, some jumped down in panic, others just went crashing into the bridge," the district magistrate said.

Much confusion had preceded the accident when the ITBP chose to cancel the recruitment, following which an estimated 100,000 aspirants, who had converged at Bareilly from 11 different states for barely 416 jobs that were thrown open, went on the rampage.

The railway authorities washed their hands off the whole affair saying they were kept out of the loop and no one cared to inform them that such a massive recruitment rally was taking place in Bareilly.

"We promptly got the railway police into action, but the station was jam-packed with these young men who went about damaging railway property while raising anti-ITBP slogans," he said.