Hours after 21 coaches of the North East Express train derailed near Raghunathpur station in Buxar district of Bihar on October 11 night, rescue efforts and work on restoration of the tracks continued overnight.
Four people died and around 70 people were injured after the express train en-route to Kamakhya junction in Assam from Delhi derailed at 9.35 pm on October 11. The derailment took place near Raghunathpur station of the Danapur division of the East Central Railway.
Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on October 12, informed that the evacuation and rescue operations continued overnight at the site of the accident.
“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 the hospital. War room operating,” Vaishnaw posted on social media platform X.
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
Meanwhile, two trains have been cancelled and several others diverted in the aftermath of the accident.
The East Central Railway zone informed through an official statement that the trains that have been cancelled include Kashi Patna Jan Shatabdi Express and Patna Kashi Jan Shatabdi Express. The chief public relations officers of the Northern Railways and the Railways department informed that helpline numbers have been opened to facilitate distressed passengers and kin.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on October 12, said his Government was monitoring the situation following the incident.
Taking to X, CM Sangma posted, “We are in touch with railway authorities and have been monitoring the situation. Citizens of Meghalaya can reach out to State authorities for assistance.” He informed further that a helpline number — 18003453644 — for the affected passengers and kin.
We are in touch with railway authorities and have been monitoring the situation. Citizens of Meghalaya can reach out to State authorities for assistance.
Helpline No. 18003453644. #trainderailed #Buxar #NorthEastExpress @RailNf
— Conrad K Sangma (@SangmaConrad) October 12, 2023
Earlier in the day, the general manager of East Central Railways (ECR), Tarun Prakash, told media, “Four fatalities have been confirmed and rescue operations are underway. A total of 21 coaches derailed.” He added that an inquiry would be conducted on what led to the coaches to jump rails.
Earlier, the Assam Chief Minister’s Office informed through a social media post that the government is closely monitoring the unfortunate derailment. “The Chief Minister’s Office is closely monitoring the unfortunate derailment of Train Number 12506 in Raghunathpur and is in touch with the district authorities in Buxar and other agencies,” the post read.
My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. Praying for the quick recovery of those injured.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) October 12, 2023
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President, JP Nadda condoled the death of 4 people in the Buxar train accident, Taking it to X, he said “The news of the train accident that took place late at night in Buxar, Bihar is extremely sad. At night, I took information about the relief work from Bihar BJP President Samrat Chaudhary and BJP MP from Buxar and Union Minister Ashwani Choubey. Railway administration is rapidly engaged in relief work. I express my deep condolences to the bereaved family. I pray to God for peace of all the departed souls and speedy recovery of the injured.”
बक्सर बिहार में देर रात हुई रेल दुर्घटना का समाचार अत्यंत दु:खद है। मैंने रात्रि में बिहार भाजपा के अध्यक्ष सम्राट चौधरी और बक्सर से भाजपा के सांसद और केंद्रीय मंत्री अश्वनी चौबे जी से राहत कार्यों की जानकारी ली। रेलवे प्रशासन तेज़ी से राहत कार्यों में लगा हुआ है।
मैं शोक संतप्त…
— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) October 12, 2023
BJP state president Samrat Choudhary, expressed his grief over the loss of lives, in a personalised vide address in the wake of the derailment, Choudhary said “I was saddened to learn of the unfortunate train derailment in Buxar district. The Railways launched an immediate rescue operation after the coaches derailed. Even our Union ministers and party workers were at the spot to extend a helping hand in the rescue operations. Trapped passengers were evacuated but there were some fatalities as well. I pray to the Almighty for the safety of all passengers. The Railways will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.”
बक्सर के रघुनाथपुर में हुई रेल दुर्घटना अत्यंत ही पीड़ादायक है। इस दुर्घटना में यात्रियों के हताहत होने की सूचना दुःखद है। रेलवे पूरी तरह से राहत और बचाव कार्य में जुट गया है।
भाजपा के नेता एवं स्थानीय कार्यकर्ता योद्धा फौरी तौर पर राहत और बचाव कार्य में जुट कर पीड़ितों को यथा… pic.twitter.com/QFmPgCYKNv
— Samrat Choudhary (@samrat4bjp) October 12, 2023
#WATCH | Buxar, Bihar: State BJP president Samrat Chaudhary inspects the restoration work and rescue operations after 21 coaches of Kamakhya-Bound North-East Express derailed in Raghunathpur last night. pic.twitter.com/vvWzCq6R3V
— ANI (@ANI) October 12, 2023
Northeast Frontier Railway CPRO Sabyasachi De said, “Rescue mission was completed at around 2 am today morning. There are no passengers on the site, everybody has been rescued. They started their destination at around 5 am this morning from Danapur and the train is expected to reach Kamakhya Railway Station at around 11 pm tonight. At the site, the line is being cleared. Around 1000 passengers have started their journey from Danapur and out of which 50-60 percent are from Assam,” Sabyasachi De said.
He further said that the Railway Ministry has already announced ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for death cases Rs 2.50 lakh for grievous injuries and Rs 50,000 for simple injuries which has already been disbursed. “We don’t have any information about the Assam resident among the injured persons. An inquiry has been initiated. The Railway Ministry has made all arrangements for the passengers including food and medical assistance. All the injured persons are treated in the hospitals in and around the accident site. Helpline numbers have also been released,” Sabyasachi De said.
The NF Railway CPRO further said that works are going to restore the line which is blocked right now at Raghunathpur.
Taking immediate action as soon as information about the accident was received, the railway administration, with the help of NDRF and local administration, admitted all the injured to the hospitals of Raghunathpur, Arrah, Buxar and Patna.
The accident came just over four months after a horrific triple train tragedy in Odisha’s Balasore district in June claimed 296 lives.