At least 27 people were killed and 25 injured when a dozen bogies of two express trains derailed while crossing flooded rail tracks in central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh late last night.
Twenty four bodies, including nine men, 10 women and five children, have been recovered so far from the mishap site between Khirkiya and Harda stations, Madhya Pradesh Public Relation Department Commissioner Anupam Rajan told PTI.
However, NDTV put the toll to 27, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
According to West Central Railway PRO Piyush Mathur seven coaches of Kamayani Express derailed and minutes later five bogies and the engine of Janata Express went off the tracks as the base material on the tracks got washed away by the waters of swollen Machak river.
“The mishap took place at around 11:30pm as the base material of the tracks got washed away in heavy rain.”
"Nearly 25 passengers suffered injuries," the PRO said.
Divisional Commercial Railway Manager (DCRM) Brajendra Kumar said that search operation has been launched in nearby areas to find people who might have been washed away in heavy floods.
Bhopal Railway PRO said that over 250 passengers were rescued so far.
The accident relief train has reached the spot and severalpassengers have been brought to a nearby station.
Railway Board Chairman AK Mittal said a flash flood made the tracks cave in as the soil underneath shifted.
The surge of flood water had weakened the culvert which collapsed, he was quoted by NDTV as saying.
He said even ten minutes before the accident the tracks had been intact and many trains had passed that area safely.