At least six people died and several were injured on Sunday morning after 11 coaches of the Delhi-bound Seemanchal Express derailed in Bihar’s Vaishali district, ANI reported. The train was on its way from Jogbani in Bihar to Anand Vihar in New Delhi.
The accident took place at 3.58 am in Sahadai Buzurg, according to PTI. One general coach, one air-conditioned coach, three sleeper coaches and six others went off the track, said East Central Railway Spokesperson Rajesh Kumar.
The train was running at full speed when the accident took place. At least three coaches overturned and were destroyed, NDTV reported.
Immediately after the accident, Bihar Disaster Management Department Principal Secretary Pratyay Amrit had said seven persons were killed. The Railways later clarified that only six people, including three women, had died.
“It was on account of a communication gap at hospitals in Vaishali district that a mix-up occurred,” said East Central Railways Chief Public Relations Officer Rajesh Kumar. “One dead person at a hospital was counted among those who lost their lives in the train mishap. Later, upon verification, it was found that he was not a passenger of the train.”
A team of doctors from Sonpur and Barauni towns was rushed to the spot. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s office said rescue and relief operations have begun, and provided helplines for the kin of the dead and the injured. The cause of the derailment is not yet known, but railway and police officials said the accident appeared to have been caused by a rail fracture.
Kumar said the six dead passengers have been identified. “Among the injured, about 30 were rushed to the Sadar Hospital at Hajipur, the district headquarters,” he said. “Eight others with minor injuries were discharged after treatment at a primary health centre in Sahadai Buzurg, where the mishap took place.”
“Railways would give ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of every deceased,” Goyal’s office tweeted. “Rs 1 lakh would be given to the grievously injured and Rs 50,000 to those who suffered simple injuries. All medical expenses will also be borne by Railways.”
The Railways’ Additional Director General of Public Relations Smita Vats Sharma said the focus was on rescue and relief operations at the moment. “Railway accident medical van along with team of doctors are at site,” he told ANI. “Two teams of NDRF have also reached the spot.”
Latif Khan, the commissioner of railway safety for eastern circle, will conduct inquiries.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed grief and directed the administration to provide all kind of assistance to those affected, ANI reported. He said the Bihar government would give Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of the dead, and Rs 50,000 to the wounded.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief at the incident. “Deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to the derailment of coaches of the Seemanchal Express,” he tweeted. “My thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly.” Modi said local authorities, railway officials and the National Disaster Response Force are providing all possible assistance.