Indian Railways cancelled ten trains and diverted 21 after several coaches of 12506 Delhi-Kamakhya North East Express derailed near the Raghunathpur station in Bihar’s Buxar district on Wednesday killing at least four people and injuring many others.
The derailment occurred at 9:53 pm and at least two AC III Tier coaches had toppled over while four other coaches jumped the tracks.
Buxar Superintendent of Police Manish Kumar told PTI four passengers had died in the accident. A Railway Police Force official the injured had been shifted to local hospitals.
Those with serious injuries were rushed to AIIMS, Patna. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on X “Will find the root cause of the derailment” even as he expressed condolences for the loss of lives.
The minister said evacuation and rescue operations were completed and all coaches have been checked.
According to a statement issued by the East Central Railway zone, trains that have been cancelled include: Patna-Puri Special (03230), Sasaram-Ara Special (03620), Bhabua Road Express Special (03617), Patna–DDU Memu Pass Spl (03203), Patna-Buxar Memu Pass Special (03375). Besides, two trains have been partially cancelled and they include: Patna-DDU Express (13209) which will run upto Ara and DDU-Patna Express (13210), which will also run upto Ara.
Trains that have been diverted onto alternate routes include: Raxaul Antyodaya Express (15548), Dibrugarh Express (15945), Magadh Express (20802), Barauni Express (19483), Asansol SF Express (12362), Guwahati Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express (22450), Brahmaputra Mail (15657) among others.
The railways has also issued emergency helpline numbers for passengers. These are 9771449971 (Patna), 8905697493 (Danapur), 8306182542 (Ara), 8306182542 and 7759070004. Other helpline numbers for passengers are: New Delhi (01123341074, 9717631960), Anand Vihar Terminal (9717632791), Commercial Control Delhi Division ( 9717633779), Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction (9794849461, 8081206628), Commercial Control of Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction (8081212134), Pryagraj (0532-2408128, 0532-2407353, 0532-2408149) and Fatehpur (05180-222026, 05180-222025.
The 23-coach 12506 North East Express had departed the Anand Vihar terminal in Delhi at 7:40 am on Wednesday for its nearly 33-hour journey to Kamakhya, about six kilometres away from Guwahati.
“The train was coming at a normal speed but suddenly we heard a loud sound and a plume of smoke rose out of the train.We rushed to see what happened. We saw that the train had derailed and the AC coaches were the most damaged, Hari Pathak, a local resident said.
Television visuals showed locals rushing to the rescue of the passengers and helping them come out of at least two toppled coaches.The visuals also showed a woman passenger in a state of shock being helped out of a coach by locals.
Jagdishpur SDPO Rajiv Chandra Singh said electric wires and poles, and rail tracks have been damaged due to the accident. He said that while some coaches lost balance and fell, none of them overturned due to which there are less casualties.
Chief Public Relations Officer of East Central Railway zone Birendra Kumar told PTI that the accident took place less than half an hour after the train left the Buxar station and was headed for Ara.”The derailment took place near Raghunathpur station where the train does not have a scheduled stoppage,” he said.
Relief measures were initiated immediately after the incident, with ambulances and doctors rushing to the site.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav issued a statement stating that the departments of disaster management and health have been asked to take immediate steps to ensure the quickest possible relief to as many people as possible.
“I have also spoken to the district magistrates of Buxar and Bhojpur (where Ara is headquartered) with instructions to reach the site at the earliest and speed up relief work,” he said.