At least four passengers died and 40 others were injured after the Delhi-Kamakhya North East Express derailed on Wednesday in Bihar’s Buxar district, PTI reported.
Six coaches of the train derailed near the Raghunathpur station at 9.53 pm on Wednesday. The 23-coach train had left Delhi’s Anand Vihar terminal station at 7.40 am for a nearly 33-hour journey to Kamakhya in Assam.
A resident named Hari Pathak told PTI: “The train was coming at a normal speed but suddenly we heard a loud sound and a plume of smoke rose out of the train. We rushed to see what happened. We saw that the train had derailed and the AC coaches were the most damaged.”
Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw expressed his condolences and said that the government would find out the root cause of the derailment.
In the early hours of Thursday, the minister said that evacuation and rescue operations had been completed and that the passengers would be shifted to a special train for their journey.
In a bulletin, the East Central Railway announced that 10 trains had been cancelled and 21 diverted due to the accident.
East Central Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Birendra Kumar said that a high-level inquiry into the reason for the accident has been ordered, according to PTI. A compensation of Rs 10 lakh will be given to the relatives of the dead and Rs 50,000 to to those injured, he said.
East Central Railway General Manager Tarun Prakash said that the priority is to clear the tracks. “Until normal traffic is restored, trains running on the route will be diverted,” he said.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav said that he spoke to officials of the disaster management and health departments about the accident.
“Hospitals in Buxar, Arrah and Patna have been put on alert,” he added. “Officials from the Bihar Police and the State Disaster Response Force have also been sent to the spot.”
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said his government was closely monitoring the situation. He added on Thursday morning that a relief train has left Raghnathpur with passengers stranded because of the accident.