Bihar train derailment: Witnesses allege 'jugaad' used to join coaches, Railways denies claim
Railways said based on prima facie evidence, the cause of the mishap is a fracture on the rail track near Barauni.
PATNA: At least six people died after eleven bogies of Jogbani-Anand Vihar Terminal Seemanchal Express derailed in Bihar's Sahadai Buzurg early on Sunday morning. Several people were also injured in the mishap. As per witnesses, when the train reached Katihar, a hook joining two coaches was found to be broken. Witnesses have alleged that the officials used 'jugaad' to join the two coaches which created a vacuum and was one of the reasons for the mishap.
The Railways, however, has denied any such lapse adding that thorough investigation will be done to ascertain the cause of the accident. Many officials at the DRM office are reportedly missing from the picture after the accident.
Railways has said that based on prima facie evidence, the cause of the mishap is a fracture on the rail track near Barauni. "The Prima facie cause of the accident is rail fracture of CMS crossing at Barauni end of station yard," Rajesh Kumar, CPRO, ECR said.
The unaffected 12 coaches are being moved to Hajipur where more coaches will be attached and the train will move for Anand Vihar Terminal railway station.
The incident took place at nearly 3:58 am after the train passed Mehnar Road. The derailed coaches of the 12487 Jogbani-Anand Vihar Terminal Seemanchal Express include three sleeper - S8, S9, S10, one general and one AC B3.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal assured that rescue and relief operations at the accident site. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also has expressed grief over the accident and has directed the administration to provide all kind of assistance to those involved in the mishap.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted that all help is being sent to those in need. "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," he tweeted.
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. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 3, 2019
Railways has announced an 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 minor injuries. All medical expenses will also be borne by Railways.
A team of doctors has been rushed to the accident site from nearby areas of Sonpur and Barauni. An accident relief train has also moved for carrying out relief and rescue operations.
"We are focusing on rescue and relief operations right now. Railway Accident Medical Van along with a team of doctors are at the site. Two teams of NDRF have also reached the spot," Additional Director General PR (Rail) Smita Vats Sharma said.
All passenger trains on this route have been cancelled and Uttar Pradesh's trains for Chapra have been diverted via Muzaffarpur-Chapra.
Indian Railways has issued helpline numbers for the accident. Sonpur - 06158221645; Hajipur - 06224272230; Barauni - 0627923222; Samastipur - 06274-224061, 06274-232131; Patna - 06122202290; 06122202291; 06122202292; 06122213234.