Four persons were killed and 40 injured when six coaches of the Assam-bound North East Superfast Express derailed in Buxar district of Bihar late on Wednesday, an official said.
The 23-coach train (No. 12506) left the Anand Vihar terminal in Delhi at 7.40 a.m. on Wednesday and was en route to Tinsukia in Assam. The incident occurred at 9.53 p.m. near the Raghunathpur railway station.
A quick response team from the Danapur division of the East Central Railway (ECR) has reached to the spot.
The Railways announced ₹10 lakh each as an ex-gratia to the family members of the deceased and ₹50,000 each to the injured people.
Television visuals showed locals rushing to the rescue of the passengers and helping them come out of at least two toppled coaches. The visuals also showed a woman passenger in a state of shock being helped out of a coach by locals.
Several police officials were also seen at the spot helping rescue passengers from the train.
Due to the derailment, the upline and downline of the route has been affected and trains plying on the stretch have been diverted to other routes.
The Railways has issued helpline numbers for the public to reach out for information: Patna station (PNBE) – 9771449971, Danapur station (DNR) – 8905697493, and Ara station (ARA) – 8306182542.
“Rescue operation going on at war footing at Buxar derailment site. NDRF, SDRF, District administration, Railway officials, and local residents are all working as one team. Injured shifted to hospital. War room operating,” Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw posted on X. He said rescue operations would be completed soon which will be followed by the restoration of the tracks.
“Will find the root cause of derailment,” said the Railway Minister.
“The number of casualties is four. The number of injured passengers is 40. The cause of derailment will be known only after a proper investigation. At present our priority is to clear the tracks. Until normal traffic is restored, trains running on the route will be diverted”, General Manager of East Central Railway Tarun Prakash told PTI.
Later, on being asked by journalists whether any sabotage was suspected, Mr. Prakash replied “We can speak on the possible cause only after the probe is complete”.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, who is currently in Kerala, spoke to the officials concerned in Buxar and directed them to ensure speedy rescue work. He also instructed the health department to provide all possible support to the injured.
BJP president J.P. Nadda spoke to Bihar BJP State president Samrat Choudhary over phone and directed the BJP workers to immediately cooperate for relief and rescue work at the accident site.
Two trains cancelled, 21 diverted
According to a statement issued by the East Central Railway zone, trains that have been cancelled include: Kashi Patna Jan Shatabdi Express (15125) and Patna Kashi Jan Shatabdi Express (15126).
Trains that have been diverted onto alternate routes include: Pune-Danapur SF Express (12149), Patliputra SF Express (12141), Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express (12424), Vikramshila Express (12368), Kamakhya Express (15623), Guwahati Express (15633), Rajendra Nagar Terminal Tejas Rajdhani Express (12310), Bhagalpur Garib Rath Express (22406), Anvt Rdp Express (22488), among others.