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Railways begins inquiry into Seemanchal Express derailment as accident kills 6; Rs 9 lakh announced for kin of deceased

At least six passengers died and 29 others were injured early on Sunday when a rail fracture caused 11 coaches of the Delhi-bound Seemanchal Express to jump the tracks in Bihar's Vaishali district, railway and police officials said.

The 12487 Jogbani-Anand Vihar Seemanchal Express originated from Jogbani in Kishanganj district and the accident took place around 4 am. Prima facie, the derailment was caused by a rail fracture, they said.

The Railways clarified that only six people, including three women, have died in the accident. Earlier, principal secretary, disaster management, Pratyay Amrit, had told reporters that seven people died in the mishap.

"It was on account of a communication gap at hospitals in Vaishali district that a mix-up occurred. One dead person at a hospital was counted among those who lost their lives in the train mishap. Later, upon verification, it was found that he was not a passenger of the train," Rajesh Kumar, the chief public relations of East Central Railway, said. The identities of all six deceased passengers have been ascertained, he said.

Chief public relations officer, East Central Zone, Rajesh Kumar, said the accident took place at Sahadai Buzurg, close to Mahanar Road in the Sonepur division. One general coach, one AC coach B3, three sleeper coaches - S8, S9, S10 and six more coaches have derailed, he said. Principal Secretary, Disaster Management Department, Pratyay Amrit said six people have died in the accident.

 Railways begins inquiry into Seemanchal Express derailment as accident kills 6; Rs 9 lakh announced for kin of deceased

Rescue operations after the Seemanchal Express derailment. ANI

The Railways have issued helpline numbers — Sonpur 06158221645, Hajipur 06224272230 and Barauni 06279232222.

Six of the deceased have been identified as Ilcha Devi (66), Indira Devi (60), Shamsuddin Alam (26), Ansar Alam (19), Shaida Khatoon (40), and Sudarshan Das (60), the Government Railway Police (GRP) said.

Of the 29 people injured in the accident, two have suffered grievous injuries, while 27 have received "simple injuries", the GRP said. The injured were rushed to a hospital in Sonpur, where the doctors referred the seriously wounded to government hospitals in Muzaffarpur and Patna.

The office of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has announced Rs 5 lakh ex gratia to kin of those killed, Rs 1 lakh each to the grievously injured people and Rs 50,000 each to those who received minor injuries.

According to reports, the Bihar government announced an amount of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed grief over the incident and directed district administration officials to provide the necessary assistance.

"Rescue operations are in full swing and an accident relief train has been sent to the site of the mishap. A team of the NDRF has also reached the spot," Kumar said. Commissioner Railway Safety (Eastern Zone), Latif Khan, will conduct an inquiry into the accident, he said.

Adequate number of doctors are available on the spot. Ambulances have been pressed into service. Teams of doctors have also rushed from Sonepur and Barauni to the accident site, Kumar said. Local residents were aiding rescue teams in carrying out operations.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi also tweeted, "I express deep sorrow and condolences to the families (affected by the incident). Local Congress workers are requested to help those affected by the accident." Rahul, who will address a rally in Patna later in the day, also urged local Congress workers to help the victims of the accident.

Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said that around 20 beds were reserved in the Patna Medical College and Nandla Medical College each for the people injured in the Seemanchal Express accident. He had also appealed to the organisers of Rahul's rally to make way for the ambulances, according to a report by News18 Hindi.

The 12 unaffected bogies are being moved to Hajipur where more coaches will be attached to the train and thereafter, it will leave for the onward journey, the officials said.

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Updated Date: Feb 03, 2019 15:20:01 IST

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