Two Trains Derail Sending Carriages Tumbling into River
The two trains travelling in opposite directions derailed within minutes of each other [via NDTV]

Two Trains Derail Sending Carriages Tumbling into River

Two passenger trains travelling in opposite directions have derailed within minutes of each other, sending carriages tumbling into a river in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, according to authorities.

The Kamayani Express derailed around midnight local time near the Kudawa railway station, about 20km from the town of Harda.

A second train, the Janata Express, travelling in the opposite direction from Patna to Mumbai, also derailed over the same bridge, minutes later.

Several passengers are feared dead.

Al Jazeera’s Nidhi Dutt, reporting from New Delhi, said there were reports that at least 300 people had been rescued but witnesses were giving accounts “that many people may have been washed away”.

Our correspondent said that there were mixed reports that between seven and 15 carriages were submerged in the Machak River following the accidents.

While there were not yet official reports of casualties, she said the accident was potentially “a very bad situation to be tackling,” given that normally 72 passengers travelled on each carriage.

Anil Saxena, a spokesperson for Indian Railways, said the bridge was partially submerged as the water level of the river was high due to heavy rain over the past two weeks.

Our correspondent said some teams of rescuers were having trouble reaching the area.

“From what we’re hearing there are rescue teams en route but there are suggestions they are also being hampered by bad weather and also by the logistics in that area,” she said.

“We’re likely to hear more of the extent of the accident at daybreak.”

Passengers on one of the trains have told local media that water was overflowing onto the tracks when it attempted to cross.

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