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'A Jerk & Then Everything Went Blank': Survivors of Bikaner-Guwahati Train Accident Recount Moment of Impact

By: News Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: January 14, 2022, 08:42 IST

Jalpaiguri

Jalpaiguri: Rescue and relief operation after Guwahati-Bikaner Express got derailed at Mainaguri in Jalpaiguri district, Thursday. (PTI Photo)

Jalpaiguri: Rescue and relief operation after Guwahati-Bikaner Express got derailed at Mainaguri in Jalpaiguri district, Thursday. (PTI Photo)

Some of the survivors searched for their near and dear ones who were with them inside the Bikaner-Guwahati train when the accident happened.

“A heavy jerk followed a loud sound, I fell from my berth and everything went blank," said a survivor of the Bikaner-Guwahati Express train, which derailed in West Bengal’s New Jalpaiguri district on Thursday, leading to the death of eight people and injury of several other passengers. Twelve coaches of the train jumped the rails, and some of them overturned near Domohani.

The accident occurred at around 5 pm in an area under the Alipurduar division of Northeast Frontier Railway, an NFR spokesperson said in Guwahati. A partially mangled coach got perched atop another under the impact, while a few bogies had hurtled down the slope and overturned.

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

“It was around 5 pm; I was speaking to my wife over the phone. All of a sudden, I heard a loud sound and there was a heavy jerk. I was thrown away from my berth and went blank. Later, when I regained consciousness, I was being taken inside an ambulance," Sanjoy, a survivor, told a news channel.

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Some of the survivors were searching for their near and dear ones who were with them inside the train when the accident happened. “My mother and I were having tea, when all of a sudden there was a sound followed by a severe shock and luggage kept on upper berths tumbled all around. The locals later rescued me, but I am yet to locate my mother. I don’t know what happened to her," said another injured person.

“We recovered three bodies from the accident site while two people died in the hospital," Jalpaiguri District Magistrate Moumita Godara Basu had earlier said.

According to latest inputs, so far, 50 people have been rescued while four of the injured were sent to Jalpaiguri district hospital and 16 were sent to Moynaguri government hospital.

Manohar Pal, a local who was one of the first to reach the spot and take part in the rescue operations, said he was with his friends at a tea stall when they heard a loud sound.

“We initially thought it was some sort of a blast. But as we rushed towards the source of the sound, we saw train coaches mangled with each other. We heard people screaming from the derailed coaches. We immediately tried to pull them out," he said.

According to preliminary assessment, a possibility of a crack in the railway tracks might have caused the accident, Basu said. Ashwini Vaishnaw called the incident “unfortunate" and said that the rescue team is at the location while the senior officials are also present at the site.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to Ashwini Vaishnaw and took stock of the situation. “Spoke to Railways Minister Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw and took stock of the situation in the wake of the train accident in West Bengal. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly," Modi said in a tweet.

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

With PTI inputs.

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first published:January 14, 2022, 07:00 IST
last updated:January 14, 2022, 08:42 IST