9 dead as Bikaner-Guwahati Express train derails in WB

9 dead, around 40 injured as Bikaner-Guwahati Express train derails in Bengal

Ashwini Vaishnaw, minister for railways, said that he was personally monitoring the situation for swift rescue operations

 Rescue and relief operation after Guwahati-Bikaner Express got derailed at Mainaguri in Jalpaiguri district, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. Credit: PTI Photo

Twelve coaches of Bikaner-Guwahati Express (15633) derailed near New Maynaguri in West Bengal on Thursday evening, leaving at least 9 dead and as many as 40 injured, including critically wounded passengers.

The accident occurred around 5 pm when the train was on the run between New Domohani and New Maynaguri station, in north Bengal, under the Alipurduar Division of NF Railway.

Railway rescue teams, and officials of state administration were involved in rescue operations.

Three persons were brought dead at Maynaguri hospital, four at Jalpaiguri SSH.

31 injured persons were taken to Maynaguri, of whom 4 were admitted and 27 were referred to Jalpaiguri SSH. A total of 33 were admitted at Jalpaiguri.

Some passengers were feared trapped, and rescue teams used gas cutters to reach out to them.

Around 65 ambulances from Jalpaiguri and 10 from Coochbehar were pressed into service, and senior health officials from state visited the spot.

"Blood and all other arrangements were made at Jalpaiguri SSH. Team of surgeons, anaesthetists, and orthopaedic surgeons, along with medicine specialist were formed for emergency response. Rescue operation is going on," said a senior health official. A few senior officials were still at the spot late at night.

"Ambulances - 8 from Falakata SSH and 4 from Birpara SGH of Alipurduar, 5 more ambulances from Alipurduar DH and 3 from NGO, Manabik Mukh, were sent to spot. Both hospitals have been kept ready for any casualties who may arrive from the accident site," the official added.

Ashwini Vaishnaw, minister for railways, said that he was personally monitoring the situation for swift rescue operations. The minister mentioned that enhanced ex-gratia compensation will be provided to the victims - Rs 5 lakh in case of death, Rs 1 lakh towards grievous injury, and Rs 25,000 for minor injuries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to Vaishnaw. “Spoke to Railways Minister Shri @AshwiniVaishnaw and took stock of the situation in the wake of the train accident in West Bengal. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly,” PM Modi tweeted.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed concern and promised all support from the state administration. “Senior officers of the state government, DM/SP/ IG North Bengal are supervising rescue and relief operations. Those injured will receive medical attention, as early as possible,” the chief minister stated in a tweet, adding that the situation is being closely monitored from the state headquarters. Several other political leaders also tweeted to express their concern about the accident.

A high-level railway safety enquiry has been ordered in the accident. A team comprising senior railway officials from New Delhi is expected to reach the accident site. The cause of the accident is still not clear. The railway minister is expected to visit the accident site on Friday.

Three trains Guwahati-Howrah Saraighat Express, Sealdah-Agartala Kanchenjungha Express, and Trivandrum Central-Silchar Express, that pass through the region, are being diverted.

Around 65 ambulances from Jalpaiguri, ten from Coochbehar were pressed into service, and senior health officials from state visited the spot.

"Blood and all other arrangements were made at Jalpaiguri SSH. Team of surgeon , anaesthetists and orthopaedic  surgeons along with medicine specialist were formed for emergency response. Rescue operation is going on," said a senior health official. A few senior officials were still at the spot, late at night.

"Ambulances - eight  from Falakata SSH and four from Birpara SGH of Alipurduar, five more ambulances from Alipurduar DH and three from NGO, Manabik Mukh, were sent to spot. Both hospitals have been kept ready for any casualties who may arrive from the accident site," the official added.

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