Death toll in the Bikaner-Guwahati Express train mishap in West Bengal Jalpaiguri district rose to nine, while 36 others remained injured with some of them being in critical condition.
Twelve coaches of the Assam-bound train derailed and some overturned near Domohani under the Alipurduar division of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) around 5pm on Thursday, a Railway spokesperson said in Guwahati.
Union minister John Barla said rescue operation was over and the injured persons were undergoing treatment at different hospitals. “Passengers were sent to Guwahati by a special train,” Barla was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Earlier, Jalpaiguri district magistrate Moumita Godara Basu four bodies were found at the accident site and three others died at the hospital .
“Since some of the injured are in a critical condition, the toll may go up. We are now using cranes for removing the damaged compartments,” she said, adding rescuers thoroughly searched each coach for survivors and bodies through darkness and thick fog. The injured were undergoing treatment at hospitals in Maynaguri and Jalpaiguri.
“We sent generators to light up the accident site. All departments have been alerted,” Basu said.
Commissioner, Railway Safety, will conduct an inquiry into the cause of the accident, an official said in New Delhi. The NFR said in a statement in Guwahati that the rescue operations have been completed. There were 1,053 passengers on board the train at the time of the derailment, it said, adding those stranded were provided drinking water and snacks.
The ill-fated train was running 2 hours and 41 minutes late during its three -day journey. It started from Bikaner late on Wednesday night and was supposed to reach Guwahati early on Friday morning.
A train ferrying the stranded passengers to Guwahati left the accident site at 9.30pm.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the tragedy when they were in the middle of an online meeting to review the Covid situation in the country with other CMs.