Sonpur: At least seven passengers died and 29 others were injured early Sunday when a rail fracture caused 11 bogies 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, a rail fracture led to the derailment, they 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 seven people have died in the accident.
Six of the deceased have been identified as Ilcha Devi (66), Indira Devi (60), Shamsuddin Alam (26), Ansar Alam (19), Shaida Khatoon (40), Sudarshan Das (60), the Government Railway Police (GRP) said.
Of the 29 people wounded in the accident, two have suffered grievous injuries, while 27 have received "simple injuries", the GRP said.
The injured were rushed to a hospital here, where the doctors referred the seriously wounded to Muzaffarpur and Patna.
The office of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has announced Rs 5 lakh ex gratia each to kin of those killed, Rs 1 lakh each to the grievously injured people and Rs 50,000 each to those who received simple injuries.
"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.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who expressed deep condolences over the deaths, said, "The district magistrate and the superintendent of police have rushed to the spot and are overseeing the relief work in coordination with the Railways."
Twelve unaffected bogies carrying 500 passengers left for Danapur at 9:52 am where 11 coaches will be added to the train. Some passengers were also taken to Hajipur in 10 buses, the officials said.
Sufficient catering arrangements have been made at Danapur and Hajipur. Commercial officers have been deployed to take care of the passengers, they said.
The Railways has issued helpline numbers - Sonpur 06158221645, Hajipur 06224272230 and Barauni 06279232222.