The trains derailed while crossing a bridge near Harda in Madhya Pradesh.

At least 24 passengers were feared dead when two express trains on Tuesday night derailed while crossing a bridge on the swollen Machak river near Harda in Madhya Pradesh, senior district officials said. The Kamayani Express en route to Varanasi from Mumbai derailed near Harda, about 160 km from Bhopal, around 11.45 p.m. while the Janata Express derailed around the same time.

Railway Ministry spokesperson Anil Kumar Saxena said that the rescue and relief operations are over. He added that some trains are diverted and few have to be cancelled to regulate traffic.

Mr. Saxena said the reported death toll has to be verified, as some of them might be due to floods. The official death toll stands at 12 with 25 injured.

“Twenty four bodies, including nine men, 10 women and five children, have been recovered so far from the mishap site between Khirkiya and Harda, about 160 km from Bhopal” Madhya Pradesh government spokesman Anupam Rajan said. (The Hindu)