Six dead, 67 injured as 12 coaches of Bikaner-Guwahati Express derail in West Bengal
Kolkata, January 13, 2022
At least six people died and 67 others were injured after 12 coaches of the 15633 Bikaner-Guwahati Express derailed in Domohani area in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal on Thursday afternoon.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was chairing a virtual meeting with Chief Ministers of States on the Covid situation at the time of the accident, took information about the mishap from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
According to initial reports, the train started from Bikaner in Rajasthan and was headed to Guwahati in Assam via Patna when the accident occurred near Maynaguri in Jalpaiguri district at around 5.15 pm on Thursday.
The train was not supposed to halt at Maynaguri and was passing through the district when the mishap occurred.
The railway authorities have announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of those killed and Rs 1 lakh for the seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for the injured.
"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," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said.
According to the railway authorities, the derailment happened in the Alipurduar Division of North Frontier Railway between New Domohani and New Maynaguri stations. The train had left New Domohani station at 4.53 p.m.
The injured were first taken to a government hospital at Maynaguri and the seriously injured are being transferred to the Jalpaiguri district hospital, sources said.
An inquiry by the Commissioner of Railway Safety has been ordered into the accident.
Chairperson of the Railway Board and DG (Safety), Railway Board are leaving from Delhi for the site of the accident.
Other senior officials have already reached the site with the accident relief train and medical van. According to railway authorities, four of the 12 coaches have been badly damaged and the rescue teams, including those from NDRF and BSF, are trying to cut open the coaches with gas cutters.
"If there are people inside the fully-damaged coaches, the number of deaths will increase. One coach is reported to have fallen into the water. We are trying to find out the condition of the coach. It has become dark, so the rescue operation is getting delayed," a senior railway official said.
As per sources, there were around 1,200 passengers on board the ill-fated train.
"Spoke to GM @RailNf and gathered that all efforts are afoot to render assistance to injured and passengers in concert with agencies @RailMinIndia @MamataOfficial. Passengers would be taken to Guwahati by another train. Pray speedy recovery to injured," West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar tweeted.
"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," Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw tweeted.
Vaishnaw, who will visit the accident site on Friday, also apprised the Prime Minister of the whole situation.
"The state rescue team along with three teams from NDRF are working on the rescue operations. The injured persons are being transferred to the Jalpaiguri Super Speciality Hospital, while the seriously injured people are being sent to the North Bengal Medical College," said the District Magistrate of Jalpaiguri, Moumita Godara Basu.