TV footage showed a number of coaches lying sideways down the elevated tracks as rescue workers were seen trying to extricate the passengers

At least five people were killed and around 45 injured when 12 coaches of Bikaner-Guwahati Express train (train no. 15633UP) derailed and overturned near Dohomoni in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district on Thursday, officials said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in the middle of a meeting with chief ministers to review the COVID-19 situation, called West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to enquire about the accident.

TV footage showed a number of coaches lying sideways down the elevated tracks as rescue workers were seen trying to extricate the passengers. The accident occurred around 5 pm in an area under the Alipurduar division of Northeast Frontier Railway, an NFR spokesperson said in Guwahati. Banerjee, who had spoken to the Jalpaiguri district magistrate, briefed the prime minister about the relief and rescue operations.

“Guwahati-Bikaner Express 15633 (up) derailed at about 5 pm this evening. 12 coaches have been affected. DRM and ADRM rushed to the site along with accident relief train and medical van,” Indian Railways informed.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has rushed two teams to rescue passengers trapped after multiple bogies of the Guwahati-Bikaner Express (15633) derailed in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district on Thursday.

Soon after, NDRF Director General Atul Karwal directed the dispatch of two teams to rescue people. “NDRF’s two teams have been dispatched and will reach shortly,” NDRF Director General told ANI. Some estimates suggest that as many as 12 coaches suffered damage when the derailment took place.

Indian Railways said that the injured have been taken to Jalpaigudi District Hospital and New Moinagudi district hospital. The train that originated from Bikaner in Rajasthan was heading to Guwahati in Assam via Patna when the accident took place near Domohani in Jalpaiguri around 5 pm on Thursday.

The train was merely passing Jalpaiguri at the time of the incident. It is estimated that over 1,000 passengers were on board, including 308 who boarded the train from Bikaner. “Following a sudden jerk, several bogies overturned,” a passenger told ANI.

The accident occurred more than 90 km from Alipurduar Junction, he added. “An accident relief train with a medical team is on way to the spot. We are awaiting further details, the spokesperson said. A high-level Commissioner Railway Safety enquiry has been ordered in the accident.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu expressed grief over the derailment of an express train in West Bengal and wished speedy recovery to those injured.  At least five people were killed and more than 45 injured when 12 coaches of the Bikaner-Guwahati Express train derailed and some overturned near Domohani in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district on Thursday.

“The derailment of coaches of the Bikaner-Guhawati Express near New Maynaguri, West Bengal is distressing. My thoughts and prayers are with the affected passengers and their families. I wish speedy recovery to the injured,” Kovind tweeted. Vice-President Naidu said he was deeply saddened by the loss of lives due to the train accident.

“My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” the Vice-President Secretariat tweeted, quoting Naidu.

Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot Thursday expressed grief over the loss of lives after the Bikaner-Guwahati Express train derailed in West Bengal.

Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw spoke to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to discuss the relief measures, officials in Jaipur said.  Governor Mishra and Chief Minister Gehlot wished a speedy recovery to the injured.

According to Shashi Kiran, Chief Public Relations Officer of North Western Railway, some coaches of the Bikaner-Guwahati Express derailed Thursday between New Domuhani-New Cooch Behar section of West Bengal. He said the derailment has affected the traffic on the route.

Guwahati-Barmer Express (15632) which leaves on Thursday will run on the diverted route via New Cooch Behar – Matha Bhanga and Raninagar Jalpaiguri, he said. Train number 15910, which left on January 11, Lalgarh – Dibrugarh Express will also run on the diverted route via New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri Junction, New Mall Junction, Alipurduar and Samuktala Road Junction, he said

With inputs from agencies

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