Harda (MP): At least 24 passengers, including 10 women and five children, were killed and 25 others injured when 12 coaches of two trains from Mumbai derailed in Harda in Madhya Pradesh and plunged into a swollen Machak river.
“Twenty four bodies, including nine men, 10 women and five children, have been recovered so far from the mishap site between Khirkiya and Harda, about 160 km from Bhopal,” Madhya Pradesh government spokesman Anupam Rajan told PTI.
The toll could further go up, he said.
Over 250 passengers have been rescued, a Railway official said.
Seven coaches of Kamayani Express, running from Mumbai to Varanasi, and five bogies plus the engine of the Mumbai- Jabalpur Janata Express derailed at 11 pm last night, West Central Railway PRO Piyush Mathur said.
“Seven bogies of Kamayani Express and engine plus three coaches of Janata Express were derailed between Khirkiya and Bhirangi stations near Harda,” Mathur said.
“Nearly 25 passengers suffered injuries,” he said.
Search and rescue operations have been intensified, Divisional Commercial Railway Manager (DCRM) Brajendra Kumar said.
The accident relief train has reached the spot and several passengers have been brought to the nearby Harda station.
Railway Ministry has ordered an inquiry into the twin derailments and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakhs to the next of the kin of the deceased, Rs 50,000 to grievously injured and 25,000 to those who sustained minor injuries.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said all efforts are underway to rescue the passengers and top officials have been rushed to the site.