On Thursday, 12 coaches of the Bikaner-Guwahati Express train accident derailed near Domohani in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal and some coaches overturned, due to which 9 passengers died.
More than 45 people were injured. Officials have given this information. A Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) spokesperson in Guwahati said the accident took place around 5 pm in an area under Alipurduar division of NFR. The accident site is more than 360 km from Guwahati.
Jalpaiguri District Magistrate Moumita Godara Basu said, “At least 45 people have been injured in the accident. The condition of some is critical, so the death toll may increase. Rescue workers thoroughly searched each compartment amidst darkness and thick fog to locate survivors and bodies.”
A railway official in New Delhi said the Commissioner of Railway Safety will investigate the cause of the accident. An NFR statement in Guwahati said that the rescue operation has been completed. There were 1,053 passengers on the train at the time of the accident. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the accident amid an online meeting with chief ministers to review the COVID-19 situation. Banerjee briefed the Prime Minister about the relief and rescue operations. Mamata Banerjee also spoke to the Jalpaiguri District Magistrate in this regard.
Modi later tweeted, “Spoke to Railway Minister Shri Ashwini Vaishnav and took stock of the situation in the wake of the train accident in West Bengal. My condolences are with the bereaved families. I wish the injured a speedy recovery.”
According to railway officials, six coaches were badly damaged. A passenger said, ‘We got a sudden jolt. We were all shaking vigorously and the luggage kept on the upper seat fell here and there.’
Hundreds of people from nearby villages gathered at the scene, and extended their helping hand to the passengers who were trapped inside the damaged coaches. During the accident, some coaches got detached from the train, while the wheels of some got derailed.
5 lakh rupees will be given to the kin of the deceased
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav tweeted, “Twelve coaches of Bikaner-Guwahati Express derailed in an unfortunate accident near New Maynaguri (West Bengal) this evening. I am personally monitoring the situation for speedy rescue operation. Rs.1 lakh for passengers and Rs.25,000 for mildly injured passengers.”
According to railway officials, due to the accident on the main line, all trains going towards Guwahati have been stopped for the time being. At the same time, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has spoken to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee regarding the accident. Sarma said Banerjee has assured him of all possible help and information about the situation. Many of the victims of this accident are suspected to be from Assam as the train was going to Guwahati, the capital of Assam.
Sarma tweeted, ‘I spoke to the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Hon’ble Mamata Banerjee and inquired about the Bikaner-Guwahati Express accident. He assured me to provide all possible help and keep me updated about the latest situation. I express my gratitude to the victims for their full help.’