7 dead, many injured as 11 coaches of Delhi-bound Seemanchal Express derail in Bihar's Vaishali

HT Correspondent

At least seven people were reported to have died and many injured after 11 coaches of the superfast Seemanchal Express heading to Delhi derailed in Bihar’s Vaishali district early on Sunday morning, railway officials said. All the injured passengers have been moved to nearby Hospitals, District Hospitals and Railway Hospital. The accident took place on the Barauni- Bachhwara-Hajipur Single Line in Sonpur division of the East Central Railways.

Officials said the number of dead is likely to go up.

The railways has announced an ex gratia compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of those deceased.

“Railways would give ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of every deceased. Rs 1 lakh would be given to the grievously injured and Rs 50,000 to those who suffered simple injuries. All medical expenses will also be borne by Railways,” Piyush Goyal’s office tweeted.

The Bihar government has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 compensation to the injured.

Vijay Sinha, commandant of the state disaster response force (SDRF) said six of the bodies have been identified. “Three of the deceased are from Bengal and three from Bihar,” Sinha was quoted by news agency ANI.

The derailment took place around 3.58 am at Sahadai Buzurg. One general coach, one AC coach B3, three sleeper coaches - S8, S9, S10 - and four more coaches have derailed, East Central Railway spokesperson Rajesh Kumar told news agencies. Initial investigation into the accident has found that the train derailment took place due to a rail fracture.

 

All passenger trains on this route have been cancelled.

The superfast train, heading from Jogbani to Anand Vihar Terminal in New Delhi, was reportedly running at full speed when the accident took place. Of the 11 affected coaches, three coaches capsized while the remaining coaches are reported to have gone off the track. “The unaffected 12 coaches of the train are being moved to Hajipur where additional coaches will be attached and the train will move for Anand Vihar Terminal in New Delhi,” Rajesh Kumar said.

A team of doctors has been rushed to the accident site from Sonpur and Barauni. A railways accident medical van has also reached the site of the accident to provide medical aid to the injured passengers.


The Seemanchal Express derailed around 3.58am leaving six people dead as nine coaches derailed. (HT Photo)

The divisional railway manager and other divisional officers have reached the site and are overseeing rescue and relief operations. Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have reached the accident site and are assisting in the rescue operations.

Soon after the accident took place, a relief train was dispatched to carry out relief and rescue operations.

The relief train, equipped with all necessary commercial arrangements such as food, blankets etc, has reached Danapur railway station where additional coaches will be added to it to help evacuate the stranded passengers. The relief train will transport the passengers to Anand Vihar Terminal in New Delhi.

“Deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to the derailment of coaches of the Seemanchal Express. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly. Railways, NDRF, and local authorities are providing all possible assistance in the wake of the accident,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

According to news agency ANI, Bihar Chief minister Nitish Kumar expressed grief over the derailment incident and has directed the administration to provide all kinds of assistance.

“Rescue and relief operations are on for derailment of 9 coaches of Jogbani-Anand Vihar Terminal Seemanchal express at Sahadai Buzurg, Bihar,” said the Twitter account of Piyush Goyal’s office.

An enquiry has been ordered into the accident and will be conducted by Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) Eastern Circle Latif Khan.

“We are focusing on rescue and relief operations right now. Railway Accident Medical Van along with team of doctors are at site. Two teams of NDRF have also reached the spot,” Additional Director General PR (Rail) Smita Vats Sharma said.

“We express profound grief over the loss of innocent lives in tragic derailment of 12487 Jogbani-Anand Vihar Terminal Seemanchal Exp at Sahadai Buzurg in Bihar. Rescue and relief operations are at full swing. Our GM & DRM, NDRF teams, & officials of local administration are at site,” the railway ministry said on its Twitter handle.

“Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal is in touch with Railway Board members and GM ECR regarding developments at the accident site. He has directed to effectively undertake relief and rescue operation. He has expressed profound grief over the loss of innocent lives in this tragic accident and wished speedy recovery for the injured,” news agency ANI reported.

The railways has also issued several helpline numbers:

Help line nos at Patna

06122202290

06122202291

06122202292

06122213234

Rly no 025-83288

Other help line numbers

Sonpur 06158221645

Hajipur 06224272230

Barauni 06279232222