A major tragedy was averted on Howrah-Patna main rail route in Bihar's Lakhisarai on Sunday night when landmines allegedly planted by the Maoists blew off a part of the railway track minutes before New Delhi-bound Garib Rath was to arrive.
An engine of a goods train that was parked on the same track was damaged in the explosion, sources in the railway police said.
The blast took place at around 8.25 pm near the outer signal of the Lakhisarai railway station. Senior railway police officers told HT that the landmine was planted under a culvert. Local residents claimed they had informed the railway police about the landmine after one of them spotted it. However, by the time the railway police team along with the bomb disposal squad (BDS) reached the spot, the bomb had gone off. The culvert was also damaged in the explosion.
The Bhagalpur-New Delhi Garib Rath that was headed towards Bhagalpur was stopped at Hathidah railway station. Traffic on the main Howrah-Patna route was disturbed and trains on both the routes were stopped at different stations. Normal traffic was restored at 8 am on Monday after the damaged track was repaired.
This attack comes four days after the Maoists exploded a government school in Lakhisarai hours before the polling was to start. Three live cylinder bombs were found and defused by the security personnel on that occasion.