Twenty-nine people were killed as two express trains derailed within minutes of each other on flooded tracks while crossing a railway bridge in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh in the dead of night and plunged into the swollen Machak river.
There were conflicting versions on the number of casualties in the twin derailment at around 1130 pm last night involving the Varanasi-bound Kamayani Express from Mumbai and the Mumbai-bound Janta express that originated from Patna. The accident occurred between Khirkiya and Bhirangi stations on Khandwa-Irasi sections, 160 km from Bhopal.
MP Government spokesman Anupam Rajan said, “29 bodies, including those of 13 men, 11 women and five children, have been recovered so far from the mishap site between Khirkiya and Harda, about 160 km from Bhopal.”
Over 250 passengers have been rescued, a railway official said.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, however, told Parliament that 12 passengers were killed.
“The prima facie cause of the incident is stated to be ‘flash flood due to heavy rains’,” Prabhu told the Rajya Sabha amid the din by slogan-shouting opposition members.