At least four passengers were killed and over 70 others injured when six coaches of the New Delhi-bound North East Express derailed near Raghunathpur railway station in Bihar’s Buxar district on Wednesday night.
The train was on its way to New Delhi from Assam’s Guwahati when the accident occurred around 9:53 pm, derailing six of the train’s 23 coaches. Two AC 3-tier coaches toppled over while four other coaches jumped off the tracks, as per visuals.
Rescue and Relief Operations
Rescue teams rushed to the spot soon after receiving information about the derailment. The injured were taken to nearby hospitals in Buxar, Patna, Arrah and Raghunathpur. Four passengers succumbed to their injuries.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw expressed condolences and said evacuation and rescue operations were completed swiftly. Officials are now focused on restoring the affected line. A special train was arranged to take stranded passengers from the accident site to Guwahati.
The Railways has opened helpline numbers for passengers and their families. Food and medical aid have also been arranged.
In a tragic incident, four persons were killed and over 70 injured when multiple coaches of the Assam-bound North East Superfast Express derailed in Buxar district of Bihar on Wednesday night.
Rescue operations ongoing. Investigation of the incident must ! pic.twitter.com/IrLxT0i3Wk
— Megh Updates 🚨™ (@MeghUpdates) October 12, 2023
Trains Diverted, Cancelled
At least 21 trains passing through the section, including the Rajdhani Express connecting New Delhi and Dibrugarh, were diverted following the accident. Two trains – Kashi Patna Jan Shatabdi Express and Patna Kashi Jan Shatabdi Express – were fully cancelled.
Cause of Accident
The Commissioner of Railway Safety will conduct an investigation to ascertain the cause of the derailment. Preliminary reports suggest the accident happened minutes after the train left Buxar station around 9:50 pm.
Eyewitnesses said the train was moving at normal speed when a loud sound was suddenly heard and coaches overturned. The Railway Minister has promised action after root cause analysis.
Bihar Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav and Union Minister Ashwini Choubey, who is also Buxar MP, said they are monitoring the situation closely. Choubey spoke to railway officials and NDRF about accelerating rescue work.
The Assam government is also in touch with authorities in Bihar to assist passengers from the state.
Pained by the loss of lives due to the derailment of a few coaches of the North East Express. Condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for a quick recovery of the injured. Authorities are providing all possible assistance to all those affected: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) October 12, 2023
Rescue operation going on at war footing at Buxar derailment site. NDRF, SDRF, District administration, Railway officials, and local residents are all working as one team.
Injured shifted to hospital.
War room operating.
— Ashwini Vaishnaw (@AshwiniVaishnaw) October 11, 2023
This is the third derailment incident in North East Express since last year. In January 2022, three coaches derailed near Domohani in West Bengal due to a crack in the railway track. There were no casualties.
In February 2021, 11 coaches of the train jumped off tracks near Dileswar Kamakhya railway station in Assam. Around 45 passengers were injured in the mishap that was also caused by track problems.
The North East Express train service was started in 1997 to improve connectivity between New Delhi and Northeastern states. It runs five days a week covering a distance of over 2,500 km.