BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
Guwahati, May 23: The Alipurduar-Guwahati Sifung passenger train derailed in Kokrajhar district today, injuring 17 persons.
A NF Railway spokesman said the passenger train derailed over the Champamati bridge number 422 between Salakati and Basugaon station in Kokrajhar district of Assam at around 5.15 am.
“Five coaches got derailed and the engine capsized. An accident relief train was immediately rushed to the site with necessary equipments and medical help. There was no casualty. Seventeen persons including the driver and assistant driver received injuries. While twelve were released after first aid, five were referred to a hospital,” the spokesman said.
Train driver Manik Ghosh, assistant driver Jotindra Kumar and guard Prabhat Chaterjee were rushed to NBQ Railway Hospital, Bongaigaon for treatment.
High railway officials from Alipurduar Division and New Bongaigaon immediately rushed to the site and started restoration work. Accident helpline numbers have been activated at different locations – Guwahati, New Coochbehar, Kokrajhar, Alipurduar, Kamakhya, Lumding and Malda.
No long distance trains were cancelled, timings of some have been changed. However, ten local trains were cancelled. The NFR has ordered a probe into the incident.
Sanjiv Kishore, DRM of Alipurduar division, who visited the spot, said prima facie it appeared the train hit an uprooted tree, resulting in the derailment.
Passengers alleged that the incident occurred because no inspection was carried out on the tracks after the storm that lashed the area on Friday evening. Many trees were uprooted and a Simul tree fell on the railway track, said some locals.
Passengers also claimed that the drivers tried to stop the train by pulling emergency brakes, but could not prevent the train from hitting the tree. This caused the derailment and the bridge also collapsed.