Railway minister visits Bikaner-Guwahati train accident spot; death toll climbs to 9

The death toll in the Bikaner-Guwahati Express train accident in north Bengal climbed to nine on January 14, reports said. Railways officials said that the tracks have been cleared for traffic. Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw arrived at the spot on January 14 to access the situation.

Twelve coaches of the Bikaner-Guwahati Express train derailed in the Domohani area of West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district on January 13 evening.

“This is a tragic incident. It is very unfortunate. A statutory enquiry has already been ordered. The prime minister has been concerned about the death and the injured passengers and I am continuously in touch with the prime minister. I am also in touch with the ground situation and today I have come to find out the root cause of the accident. Once it is detected we will try to solve it so that there is no such accident for similar reasons,” Vaishnaw said after reaching the accident spot.

Nine persons died and another 36 persons were injured in the accident. According to sources in the Railways, the condition of 15 persons is serious.

“The injured people have been sent to Jalpaiguri Super Speciality Hospital and North Bengal Medical College,” a senior official of NF Railway said.

Meanwhile, the rescue operation has been concluded and the tracks have been cleared.

“The rescue operation was conducted all through the night. Special teams from the BSF and NDRF went on with the rescue operation. The train rakes were cleared off from the tracks at night only and the damaged engine was removed in the morning. There was some problem because of the darkness but we finally managed to do it,” the official said.

Nine trains were diverted through alternative routes following the accident, which included Guwahati-Howrah Saraighat Express, Kamakhya-Anand Vihar Express, New Delhi-Agartala Tejas Rajdhani Express and Trivandrum-Silchar Express and Kanchanjungha Express.

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