At least four passengers were killed and eight injured when the Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express derailed at Golden Ganj station near Chapra early today in suspected sabotage by Maoists.
12 coaches were derailed in the incident at around 0200 hours today, a Railway spokesperson said. Five coaches-B-1, B-2, B-3, B-4 and pantry car-overturned in the derailment while seven other coaches-B-5 to B-10 and power car-got derailed at the station, about 75 kms from Patna, he said.
Railways suspected sabotage by Maoists behind the derailment. "Prima facie, it appears to be a case of sabotage. There was a blast on the track, which could have caused the derailment," Railway Board Chairman Arunendra Kumar told PTI in Delhi. "Another goods train, 60 kms away from the station, also got derailed due to a blast. 18 wagons got derailed in the accident," Kumar said. The Maoists have given bandh call today to protest "strong armed" action by security forces against "innocent people" in the area on suspicion of being Maoists sympathiser.
Railway has ordered an enquiry to conducted by Commissioner Railway Safety, Eastern Circle to ascertain the cause of derailment. Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda has announce ex-gratia of rupees 2 lakh for the family of each of the deceased, rupees one lakh for the grievously injured passengers and 20 thousand rupees for those with minor injuries.
While three passengers died on the spot, another succumbed to injuries in a hospital later, Chief Public Relation Officer of East Central Railway (ECR) Arvind Kumar Rajak said. Gowda expressed grief over the loss of lives in the mishap. He directed the Railway administration to render best possible treatment to the injured passengers.
Railway minister Sadananda Gowda and Minister of State for Railway Manoj Sinha have rushed to the site along with Railway Board Member Traffic, D P Pandey and Member Mechanical, Alok Johri.