A police spokesperson said the blast on the Garib Rath Express from Guwahati to Kolkata took place at 2:15 am at Babubil in Kokrajhar district, about 270 km west of Guwahati. “The Garib Rath was at Babubil when the blast took place derailing seven coaches,” S Hajong, chief spokesperson of the Northeast Frontier Railways, said. At least 15 people were injured in the blast.
The injured were shifted to hospitals and relief trains shifted the stranded passengers from the site. “The driver of the train and another passenger received serious injuries, while six coaches were damaged,” Hajong said. The lone casualty in the incident was identified as Durlav Sethia, 6, of Guwahati. His parents escaped unhurt.
The remote controlled improvised explosive device was planted on the track over a rail bridge, police said. “The engine and the first coach bore the maximum brunt of the explosion. The other four coaches just derailed, thereby minimising the casualties,” the official said.
“The casualty figure is less since the train was moving very slowly on the rail bridge.” Police has blamed the NDFB for the blast. “A group of about 25 NDFB militants were involved in the blast,” Kokrajhar district police chief P K Dutta said. There were two more explosions on Thursday - both on rail tracks in Batasipur and Delseri railway stations in northern Assam.
The explosions took place even as the Assam government sounded a security alert on Wednesday with intelligence inputs of serial explosions by the NDFB. The Railways announced cancellation or suspension of at least six long distance passenger trains due to the threat since Wednesday night.