Normal train operations resume at West Bengal train accident site after two days
At least 12 coaches of the Guwahati-bound train, which originated in Bikaner, derailed in the Alipurduar section in West Bengal at 5pm on Thursday (January 13). At least nine people were killed while 36 others left injured due to the accident.
Train movement has regained normalcy at the site in West Bengal's Alipurduar district where the Bikaner-Guwahati Express derailed two days before, Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) chief public relations officer Guneet Kaur said on Saturday.
She added that train operations resumed at 12am on Saturday after the track was certified for movement at 20kmph. The first goods train passed the section at 2.05am while the first passenger one, an Assam-bound Rajdhani Express (Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani Express), crossed the track at 11.53am earlier in the day.
Kaur said that restoration work of the affected railway section commenced soon after the rescue and relief operations were completed. The process was overseen by senior NFR officials and other departments, including telecom and signal.
The accident happened on January 13 after at least 12 coaches of the Bikaner-Guwahati Express derailed in the Alipurduar section of the NFR between New Domohani and New Maynaguri stations in Bengal. At least nine were killed while 36 others left injured after the accident. The train started in Bikaner in Rajasthan on Wednesday night and was supposed to reach Guwahati in Assam on Friday morning. The accident occurred at 5pm in Bengal on Thursday.
A total of 10 trains, primarily intercity and DEMU (local) trains, were cancelled along the affected section on Friday while a few were either short terminated or short originated, Railways said. Meanwhile, the routes of 10 additional long-distance trains were diverted.
Union railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who visited the accident site on Friday, said that as per preliminary probe, the derailment took place due to a glitch in the "locomotive equipment."
"The root cause (behind the accident) will soon come out. An inquiry into the unfortunate incident is underway," he added.
The Railways has announced ex gratia of ₹5 lakh for the family of the deceased in the accident, while ₹1 lakh for those who suffered injuries. Those who sustained non-serious injuries in the accident will receive ₹25,000.