Today:- Two express trains derailed within minutes of each other on flooded tracks while crossing a railway bridge in Harda district in Madhya Pradesh in the dead of night and plunged into the swollen Machak river with the death toll put between 12 and 29.
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.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu told Parliament that 12 passengers were killed while MP government spokesman Anupam Rajan said at least 29 passengers lost their lives. About 25 passengers were injured in the mishaps.
Over 250 passengers have been rescued, a railway official said.
“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.
The Railway Ministry has ordered an inquiry into the twin derailment and announced an enhanced ex-gratia of Rs two lakh each to the next of the kin of deceased.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed distress and pain over the loss of lives in the accidents and said authorities are doing everything possible on the ground.
“Twenty nine 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,” MP government spokesman Anupam Rajan told PTI, adding that the toll could further go up.
Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Bhopal, Alok Kumar said, “11 passengers of Janata Express and one from Kamayani Express were found dead. About rest, we are not sure whether they were local villagers or some other persons.” ? ?
Though the state government said that 21 coaches of the two trains derailed, the DRM said seven bogies of the Janata Express plus engine and 10 of Kamayani Express derailed.
According to Central Railway PRO Piyush Mathur, seven?coaches of Kamayani Express and three bogies plus the engine?of the Rajendra Nagar(Patna)-Mumbai Janata Express had derailed.