At least seven people were killed and more than 45 injured when 12 coaches of the Bikaner-Guwahati Express train derailed and some overturned near Domohani in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district on Thursday, an official said.
"Seven passengers have died so far. We recovered four bodies from the accident site while three people died in hospital," Jalpaiguri District Magistrate Moumita Godara Basu said, adding at least 45 passengers were injured in the accident. "Since some of them are in a critical condition, the death toll may go up. We are now using cranes for removing the damaged compartments," she said, adding rescuers thoroughly searched each coach for survivors and bodies through darkness and thick fog.
Meanwhile, Railway Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw will visit the accident site today to take stock of the incident.
"I am reaching the site tomorrow morning. Medical teams, senior officers at the spot. PM Modi also took stock of the situation and rescue operation," he said in a tweet on Thursday.
He also announced an enhanced amount of ex-gratia compensation to the victims of the accident. "Enhanced amount of ex-gratia compensation to the victims of this unfortunate accident: ₹5 Lakh in case of death, ₹1 Lakh towards grievous and ₹25,000 for minor injuries," he said in a tweet.
The injured have been taken to Jalpaigudi District Hospital and New Moinagudi district hospital.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has rushed two teams to rescue passengers trapped after multiple bogies of the Guwahati-Bikaner Express (15633) derailed in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district today. The accident took place near Domohani in West Bengal this evening.
Briefing media persons over the accident, Guneet Kaur, Chief PRO, North-East Frontier Railway, Guwahati said, "Accident occurred around 5 pm between Domohani and New Maynaguri. Around 10 coaches were affected. Three people are dead and 20 injured."
"An ex-gratia amount has also been announced for the affected passengers. A high-level inquiry has also been ordered," she added.
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