29 killed in MP twin train derailment
‘Flooding of tracks caused derailment
Twenty-nine people were killed when two express trains passing each other derailed while crossing a railway bridge struck by flash floods in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh in the dead of night sending 17 bogies and one engine tumbling into a rain-swollen river.
The twin derailment that occurred at around the same time at about 11.30 pm last night involved the Varanasi-bound Kamayani Express from Mumbai, which capsized first, and the Mumbai-bound Janta express originating from Patna that was coming from the opposite direction.
Officials said that 25 people were injured and over 250 passengers have been rescued.
There were conflicting versions on the exact number of casualties in the accident that occurred between Khirkiya and Bhirangi stations on Khandwa-Itarsi sections, 160 km from Bhopal after the 500-metre rail tracks over a small bridge sank in sudden surge of water caused by heavy rains in the area.
"Twenty-nine bodies, including those of 13 men, 11 women and five children, have been recovered so far from the mishap site, about 160 km from Bhopal," MP Government spokesman Anupam Rajan said.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, however, told Parliament that data available so far showed 12 passengers were killed. Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Bhopal, Alok Kumar also put the figure at 12 — 11 passengers of Janta Express and one from Kamayani Express.
However, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said pegged the dead at 25 and injured at 50. Twelve bodies were found inside the derailed train bogies, he told reporters at the site of the accident.