Bhopal: Twin back-to-back train derailment took place at the same spot in Madhya Pradesh around midnight on Tuesday, with several bogies and engines of Varanasi-bound Kamayani Express and Mumbai-bound Janata Express falling into a swollen river. Casualties are not yet known, authorities said.
The accident has left about 24 people dead and over 40 people are injured. More than 300 people have so far been rescued, according to tv reports.
Kamayani Express, which runs between Mumbai's Lokmanya Tilak Terminus station to Varanasi Junction in Uttar Pradesh, was derailed around midnight near Khiriya village in Harda district, about 160 km from here, Superintendent of Police Prem Babu Sharma told IANS.
He added that "two-four bogies of the train have fallen into the Machak river and due to rain and darkness it may take hours to confirm the casualties".
I.B. Siddiqui, a spokesperson for the West Central Railway, said that Janata Express also derailed within minutes of the first accident while crossing the same bridge over the Machak river. The train was on its way to Mumbai from Jabalpur.
"The engine and at least one of the bogies of Janata Express have fallen into the river," Siddiqui said, adding that rescue efforts have been launched and many senior officials of the railway and administration have reached the spot.
"Rushing emergency medical & other relief personnel to spot. darkness,water creating hurdles but ordered all possible help. Trying our best," Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted after the accident.
He added that efforts are being made "to pull back [the] trains".
"Local villagers,Admn r also in rescue operation. Everything that's necessary and possible being done.Constant in touch with CM MP&Rail off," the minister said in another tweet.