5 dead, 100 hurt as Guwahati-bound Bikaner Express derails in Jalpaiguri; rescue ops on

5 dead, 100 hurt as Guwahati-bound Bikaner Express derails in Jalpaiguri; rescue ops on

Hummingbird News Desk

KOLKATA, 13 JAN: At least 5 passengers have died and more than 100 others were injured after 12 coaches of Guwahati-Bikaner Express train (15633) derailed in between New Domohani and New Maynaguri rail stations at around 5.15 pm in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal on Thursday.

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The reason behind the accident has not been ascertained yet by the railway officials, but the preliminary reports suggest that there was crack on the railway track which led to the derailment.

Soon after the accident, a high-level inquiry by the Commission of Railway Safety has been ordered to probe the accident.

The Commission of Railway Safety, which comes under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, is India’s rail safety authority which investigates serious rail accidents.

The train that started from Bikaner in Rajasthan was heading to Guwahati in Assam via Patna when the accident took place. The train was at a speed of 40 km/hr. There were a total of 1,200 passengers on board, including 308 who boarded the train from Bikaner.

“Following a sudden jerk, several bogies overturned. There are casualties…,” a passenger told one news agency.

Visuals from the accident site show people being rescued from the debris of multiple damaged train coaches lying sideways next to the elevated train tracks. Police can be seen on-site, with locals and other passengers helping in relief and rescue operations. 

A partially mangled coach got perched atop another under the impact, while a few bogies had hurtled down the slope and overturned.

Preliminary information indicated that many passengers are feared trapped inside the derailed coaches. The railway sources said gas cutters are being used to cut open the mangled coaches. The injured were taken to the Maynaguri and Jalpaiguri district hospitals.

Railway Police launched a search and rescue operation at the site of the derailment. Two teams of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) were also on their way to the spot from Siliguri.

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has said he is “personally monitoring” the situation and that he has spoken to PM Narendra Modi and apprised him of the rescue operations. “We will fulfill all of our duties,” he has said.

“In an unfortunate accident, 12 Coaches of Bikaner – Guwahati Exp. derailed near New Maynaguri (West Bengal) this evening. Personally monitoring the situation for swift rescue operations,” he said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote on Twitter that she was “deeply concerned” to hear about the “tragic accident”. She said senior officials of the state government were supervising rescue and relief operations and those injured would receive medical attention as soon as possible.

Chairperson of the Railway Board and DG (Safety), Railway Board are leaving from Delhi to the site of the accident.

Compensation has been announced as ₹ 5 lakh for death, ₹ 1 lakh for grievous injury, and ₹ 25,000 for “simple injuries”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in the middle of a meeting with chief ministers to review the COVID-19 situation, inquired with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee about the accident. Miss Banerjee, who had spoken to the Jalpaiguri district magistrate, briefed the prime minister about the relief and rescue operations.

Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari expressed grief over the train accident and condoled those who died in the incident. “The Railway Minister would be visiting the site tomorrow and is presently reviewing the rescue operations and keeping track of the aid and relief which is being provided swiftly to the victims,” he said.

Tags: #RailAccident #jalpaiguri #accident #westbengal #BikanerGuwahatiExpress #WestBengalTrainAccident

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