At least seven passengers died and several others were injured early on Sunday when a rail fracture caused nine 11 bogies of the Delhi-bound Seemanchal Express to jump the tracks in Bihar’s Vaishali district, railway and police officials said.
The 12487 Jogbani-Anand Vihar Seemanchal Express originated from Jogbani in Kishanganj district and the accident took place around 4 am. Prima facie, the derailment was caused by a rail fracture, they said.
Chief Public Relations Officer, East Central Zone, Rajesh Kumar, said the accident took place at Sahadai Buzurg, close to Mahanar Road in the Sonepur division.
One general coach, one AC coach B3, three sleeper coaches – S8, S9, S10, and six more coaches have derailed, he said.
Principal Secretary, Disaster Management Department, Pratyay Amrit said seven people have died in the accident.
“The identity of the deceased was yet to be confirmed. Rescue operations are in full swing and an accident relief train has been sent to the site of the mishap. A team of the NDRF has also reached the spot,” Kumar said.
Twenty-four people have been injured in the accident, Superintendent of Police Manavjit Singh Dhillon said.
The injured were rushed to a hospital, where the doctors referred the seriously wounded to Muzaffarpur and Patna.
Teams of doctors have also rushed from Sonepur and Barauni to the accident site, Kumar said.
The office of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has announced Rs 5 lakh ex gratia each to kin of those killed, Rs 1 lakh each to the grievously injured people and Rs 50,000 each to those who received simple injuries.
All the passengers were served tea, food packets and packed drinking water. Each coach is being manned by commercial and RPF staff. Arrangements for refunds to the passengers who do not want to continue their journey have been ensured at different stations, the Minister added.
Local residents were aiding rescue teams in carrying out operations.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who expressed deep condolences over the deaths, said, “The district magistrate and the superintendent of police have rushed to the spot and are overseeing the relief work in coordination with the Railways.”
The 12 unaffected bogies are being moved to Hajipur where more coaches will be attached to the train and thereafter, it will leave for the onward journey, the officials said.
The Railways have issued helpline numbers – Sonpur 06158221645, Hajipur 06224272230 and Barauni 06279232222.