Twelve coaches of the Kamayani Express to Varanasi from Mumbai derailed near Harda in the central state of Madhya Pradesh just before midnight. He said that all passengers have been rescued and those with minor injuries were provided with first aid.
At least 29 passengers, including 11 women and five children, were killed and 25 others injured when several coaches of two trains, one heading to Mumbai and another to Varanasi, derailed over a railway bridge in Harda district and plunged into the swollen Machak river.
Six coaches from the Kamayani Express and the engine and four coaches from the Janata Express derailed.
Railway official Anil Saksena said there had been flash floods in the region and the tracks had collapsed.
The Railway Ministry has ordered an inquiry into the twin train derailments and compensation for the families of the victims. He said several passengers have been rescued and sent to the nearest station. “Things are under control and most of the people have been rescued”, Saxena told NDTV.
He said few other details were immediately available. Railway Board member (traffic) Kundan Sinha said the tracks have been breached because of the flow of excessive water and the particular section has been closed for any train movement. Medical teams were dispatched to the spot in the night on the directive of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. He said, everything that is necessary and possible is being done and he is in constant touch with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Railway officials.
India has one of the world’s largest railway networks, but many parts of it are poorly maintained and accidents are common.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern over the incident on his Twitter account. However, some people have been pulled out of the river by local residents, the reports said.