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At least three people were killed and over 20 injured after the Guwahati-bound Bikaner Express derailed in the Dohomoni area of West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district at around 5 pm on Thursday, said officials. 

"Three bodies were recovered from the accident site. So far, around 20 people have been admitted to hospital. The rescue operation is on at a war-footing," said Jalpaiguri district magistrate Moumita Godara Basu.

Footages from the location showed a number of coaches lying sideways down the elevated tracks as rescue workers were seen trying to extricate the passengers.

"We felt a sudden shock. We were all rocking violently and luggage kept on upper berths tumbled all around," said a passenger.

A partially mangled coach got perched atop another under the impact, while a few bogies had hurtled down the slope and overturned.

At least 12 coaches of the train have been affected. According to railway officials, six coaches were severely impacted. "DRM and ADRM rushed to the site along with accident relief train and medical van," said the Indian Railways. 

A High-level Commissioner Railway Safety enquiry has been ordered in the accident.

Hundreds of people from nearby villages collected at the spot, and were seen lending a helping hand to passengers who had got trapped inside the collapsed coaches. Some of the bogies had got detached from the rest of the train under the impact, while wheels of some came off.

As the news of the accident reached Jalpaiguri, siren-blaring ambulances arrived at the spot and the injured were seen being evacuated.

"In an unfortunate accident, 12 coaches of Bikaner-Guwahati Exp. derailed near New Maynaguri (West Bengal) this evening. Personally monitoring the situation for swift rescue operations," Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw tweeted.

"Spoke with Hon'ble PM and apprised him about the rescue operations," he added.

The Indian Railways has announced 5 Lakh ex-gratia for those killed, 1 lakh for the severely injured and 25,000 for passengers who suffered minor injures.

According to railway officials, since the accident occurred on the main line, all train movement towards Guwahati has been halted for the time being.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee spoke to district officials, and senior state government officials have rushed to the spot.

"Deeply concerned to hear about the tragic accident of the Bikaner-Guwahati Express in Maynaguri. Senior Officers of the State Government, DM/SP/IG North Bengal are supervising rescue and relief operations. Those injured will receive medical attention, as early as possible," she tweeted.

"Sad to hear Bikaner Guwahati express derailed near Jalpaiguri with reports of death and casualties," West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar tweeted, adding all agencies concerned were rendering full assistance in the rescue operations.

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