The Kamayani Express and Janata Express derailed while crossing flooded tracks in Madhya Pradesh (Agence France-Presse photo)
Harda, Madhya Pradesh: At least 28 people have died and 40 are injured after two passenger trains derailed within minutes of each other while crossing flooded tracks in Madhya Pradesh late on Tuesday night. More than 25 are missing, say sources.
Here are the latest developments:
Six coaches of the Kamayani Express running from Mumbai to Varanasi derailed at around 11:30 pm while crossing a culvert near the Machak river close to Harda, about 160 kilometres from state capital Bhopal. (Pics)
Minutes later, an engine and four coaches of the Janata Express, going to Mumbai from Jabalpur, derailed. Among those who have died are 10 women and five children, the Madhya Pradesh government said.
"I am going to the accident site, will talk after taking stock of the situation," said Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
A railway official said water flooding the tracks entered the derailed coaches. Earlier reports had said that the coaches fell into the river.
People who live near the accident site played a big role in rescue efforts in the middle of the night, with rescue teams delayed because heavy rain and flooding had damaged roads.
A senior official said at about 7.30 am, most of the people trapped in the derailed coaches had been rescued. The unaffected coaches of the two trains were detached and moved to Itarsi. Three special trains took doctors and rescue teams to the accident site. (Track updates)
A 35-member team of the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF has been dispatched with equipment like gas cutters from Bhopal to rescue any people who may still be trapped on the derailed coaches.
"The two train accidents in Madhya Pradesh are deeply distressing. Deeply pained over the loss of lives. Condolences to families of deceased," tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.