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West Bengal

Death toll in Bikaner-Guwahati Express derailment in north Bengal increases to nine

Published : Jan 14, 2022 17:46 IST T+T-
Rescue and relief operation after the Bikaner-Guwahati Express derailed at Maynaguri in Jalpaiguri district, on January 13.

Rescue and relief operation after the Bikaner-Guwahati Express derailed at Maynaguri in Jalpaiguri district, on January 13.

The Railways announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs.5 lakh to the kin of each of the dead, Rs.1 lakh to the grievously injured and Rs.25,000 for passengers with relatively minor injuries.

Nine people died and 36 were injured when the Bikaner-Guwahati Express derailed near Maynaguri in Jalpaiguri district in north Bengal around 5 p.m. on January 13. Of the 36 people who were hurt in the accident, 10 suffered grievous injuries. Twelve coaches of 15633 Up Bikaner-Guwahati Express got derailed, of which two overturned, around 42 km from New Jalpaiguri station and around 100 km from New Alipurduar station. The train had left Bikaner at 1:45 a.m. on January 12. According to a press release issued by the Northeast Frontier Railway, around 1,053 passengers were on the train at the time of derailment.

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who visited the accident site on January 14, said, "It is a very tragic and unfortunate accident. Rescue operations have been completed, statutory inquiry has been initiated…. I am constantly in touch with the Prime Minister and those working in the field. It is important to find the root cause of the accident, so that such tragedies do not take place again." The Railways announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs.5 lakh to the kin of each of the dead, Rs.1 lakh to those grievously injured and Rs.25,000 for passengers with relatively minor injuries.

Though the cause of the accident has not yet been ascertained, Vaishnaw said, "In some parts of the locomotive there seems to be a technical fault. We will have to dismantle it and examine it." According to the Assistant Loco Pilot, the train was travelling at 95-100 km speed, and "a jerk was felt". This has led to speculation that there may have been some problem in the railway track. The Commissioner of Railway Safety has initiated an inquiry into the accident.