Bengal train accident: At least 6 killed and over 45 injured

Bengal train accident: At least 6 killed and over 45 injured

Kolkata/New Delhi/Guwahati: In a major train accident, 12 coaches of Guwahati-Bikaner Express, derailed between Domohani and Maynaguri town of Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal on Thursday afternoon, in which at least six persons were killed and more than 45 were injured till the last report came in.

Meanwhile, a Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) statement late on Thursday night stated that the rescue operation has been completed.

The NFR statement further said there were about 1,053 passengers onboard at the time of derailment and a special train to ferry the stranded passengers left for the accident site from New Jalpaiguri at 7.05 pm.

Assam special DGP (Law and Order) G P Singh said in a tweet that the relief train with stranded passengers left the accident site at 9.30 pm and was expected to reach Guwahati around 2 am on January 14.

Earlier, while talking to Millennium Post, PRO of Northeast Frontier Railways Gurneet Kaur had confirmed that three passengers were killed in the accident and the toll may rise.

Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw will reach the accident spot by Friday early morning. He reached Kolkata on Thursday late evening.

In an official statement, the ministry, on Thursday evening, had mentioned: "Train no. 15633 Bikaner – Guwahati Express which left Bikaner at 01-45 hrs on January 12, got derailed near New Domohani station under Alipurduar Jn division of N.F. Railway. The location is about 42 km away from New Jalpaiguri station and about 100 km away from New Alipurduar station. The accident occurred at about 17-00 hrs." Senior railway officials along with accident relief trains from New Jalpaiguri and New Alipurduar rushed towards the site and started the relief and rescue operation.

The General Manager of NFR also visited the accident site.

"All stranded passengers were provided with drinking water and snacks from the pantry car of the train," the official statement added.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came to know about the incident while she was in the middle of a virtual meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Covid situation. She immediately directed the Jalpaiguri district officials along with senior police officers, including the SP and IG to rush to the spot and start the rescue operation. Banerjee further instructed the district Health department to stay prepared for the treatment of the injured people.

Northeast Frontier Railway activated helpline numbers for information about the incident- Guwahati: 03612731622 / 23, Katihar: 06452230692, 9002041952, 9608815880 New Jalpaiguri: 9002041951, 9002041955, Alipurduar: 03564234206 / 234216 / 255190.

Banerjee tweeted: "Deeply concerned to hear about the tragic accident of the Bikaner-Guwahati Express in Maynaguri. Senior officers of the state government, DM/SP/IG North Bengal are supervising rescue and relief operations. Those injured will receive medical attention, as early as possible. Situation being closely monitored from the state HQs."

Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee expressed his condolences towards the families of the deceased passengers and tweeted: "I offer my deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the tragic accident of Bikaner Guwahati Express. Praying for the speedy recovery of those injured. Banglar Jubo Shakti members from North Bengal are in Maynaguri to extend help to everyone. Our Jubo Shakti members vows to firmly stand beside everyone through these testing times. From rescue operations to providing any kind of help or relief, we will help each and everyone. This is our promise."

Later the Prime Minister tweeted: "Spoke to Railways Minister Shri AshwiniVaishnaw and took stock of the situation in the wake of the train accident in West Bengal. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly."

The train was going to Guwahati from Bikaner with around 1200 passengers. Around 5 pm on Thursday, passengers experienced a sudden jerk. Due to the impact, 12 coaches of the train got derailed while one coach mounted on the other. Initially,

local people started rescuing the passengers. Later police, fire brigade and disaster management group personnel reached the spot and started rescuing the injured persons. DM, Moumita Godara Basu along with SP and other officials also went to the spot to supervise the rescue work. Trinamool Congress leader Gautam Deb also went to the spot as instructed by Banerjee.

Meanwhile, Union Railway minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw announced ex-gratia for the family members of the deceased, critically injured and minor injured passengers. Rs 5 lakh will be given to the family members of each of the deceased passengers while Rs 1 lakh will be given to the critically injured. Passengers with minor injuries will receive Rs 25,000.

Due to the accident, many trains of the Eastern Railway were diverted.

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