HARDA: With the recovery of three more bodies, the death toll in the twin train derailments near here has risen to 28, a top West Central Railway (WCR) official said today. "We recovered three more bodies downstream from the derailments site between Khirkiya and Bhirangi section of Bhopal railway division last night. With this, the death toll in the tragedy has risen to 28," WCR General Manager Ramesh Chandra told PTI today over phone.
Ali had happily boarded the Kamayani Express from Mumbai to visit Allahabad for arranging money to complete visa formalities for fulfiling his dreams of having a good life.
He said the bodies were found more than a kilometere away from the accident site. Chandra said among these 28, twelve were found inside bogies and if rest of the bodies found in the vicinity are also identified as passengers, they too would be counted as train mishap victims.
"We have completed the rescue operation," he said. The two trains Varanasi-bound Kamayani Express from Mumbai which capsized first, and the Mumbai-bound Janta Express originating from Patna while crossing a railway bridge was struck by flash floods in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh before August 4 midnight had jumped off the tracks sending 17 bogies and one engine tumbling into a rain-swollen Machak river.
On the reason of the twin derailments, Chandra said prima facie it suggests that it was due to heavy rain. Earlier, the theories doing rounds were that it might be the result of a cloud burst or a breach in some nearby water body (dam), Chandra added.
"But now after having detailed talks with the state government officials, it appears that it was due to very heavy rainfall," he said. The earth and other stuff beneath the tracks had been swept away in the heavy downpour and this caused the derailment. However, he added a detailed investigation will reveal the exact reason.
The WCR GM said they were working on a war-footing and trying to restore the traffic on the damaged track by Sunday. "We are working to lay the new line at the accident site given that the old ones have been completely damaged," he added.
Asked about the financial loss inflicted to Railways in the derailments, he said that the priority right now is to provide relief to victims and restore the tracks. "Losses will be worked out later," Chandra added. Meanwhile, Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety D K Singh also reached the accident spot today for inspection.