Death toll from India train derailment rises to 29
05 August 2015, Nirapad News: Bodies of 27 passengers have so far been recovered from the two express trains that derailed simultaneously while crossing a bridge on swollen river near Harda in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday night.
Accident relief train reached the spot and over 300 passengers were rescued and sent to nearest stations with the help of local administration, said sources.
There are conflicting figures on the death toll. While Madhya Pradesh government puts it on 24, railway authorities in Jabalpur say they have recovered 20 bodies so far.
Those killed include nine men, eight women and five children. Two of them reportedly died after being electrocuted during the rescue effort in the twin tragedy.
Both Mumbai-Varanasi Kamayani Express and Jabalpur-Mumbai Janata Express, derailed while crossing a bridge on Machak River, near Khirkiya and Harda station, about 160km from Bhopal.
Kamayani Express was the first to get derailed at around 11.30pm and Janata Express met with the accident just a few minutes later.
Railway authorities said the sudden flow of water on the tracks caused the derailment.
“We think tracks were breached because of the flow of excessive water,” said an officer.
Meanwhile, a section has been closed for any train movement . The accident relief train has reached the spot and several passengers have been brought to a nearby station, Sinha added.
Harda district collector Rajnish Srivastava said that incident took place near Khirkiya and Harda station on Machak River in which seven coaches of Kamayani Express and three coaches with the engine of Janata Express got derailed.
“It seems that base material on the tracks got washed away following heavy rains when the two trains coming from opposite directions on the Up and Down tracks met with the accident almost simultaneously,” he said.
According to West Central Railway PRO Piyush Mathur, seven coaches of Kamayani Express and three coaches plus the engine of Janata Express derailed late last night as the base material on the tracks got washed away ?due to heavy rains.
The ministry of railways has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those who are grievously injured.
“Seven bogies of Kamayani Express and engine plus three coaches of Janata Express derailed between Khirkiya and Bhirangi stations near Harda,” Mathur said.
“The mishap took place at around 11.30pm on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, rescue operations continued even as several passengers were feared trapped in water after coaches of both the train plunged into the river.
Divisional commercial railway manager (DCRM) Brajendra Kumar said that many passengers were rescued from the derailed coaches..
A passenger of Kamayani Express, Akhilesh Pratap Singh told PTI that he, along with over 150 passengers, travelling in the general class coach, were stranded on a hilltop to save themselves.
The accident relief train has reached the spot and several passengers have been brought to a nearby station.
Kamayani Express enroute to Varanasi from Mumbai derailed near Harda, about 160kms from Bhopal, and the Mumbai-Jabalpur Janata Express derailed around 11.30pm late last night.
Railways has set up helpline numbers to deal with enquiries related to the twin tragedy.