Seemanchal Express Derailment: Seven Dead, PM Expresses Grief
Seven people died on Sunday, 3 February, after eleven coaches of Delhi-bound Seemanchal Express derailed in Vaishali district of Bihar, railway officials told PTI. At least 24 people have been injured in the accident.
- The accident took place at 3:58 am in Sahadai Buzurg
- A general coach, an AC coach B3, three sleeper coaches – S8, S9, S10 and four more coaches derailed
- Railways has issued helpline numbers – Sonpur 06158221645, Hajipur 06224272230 and Barauni 06279232222
- Indian Railways has issued helpline numbers at Patna-06122202290, 06122202291, 06122202292, 06122213234
Rahul Gandhi Expresses Condolences
"I am deeply pained by the Bihar train accident. I express my deepest condolences and grief for the families who have suffered in the accident," Congress President Rahul Gandhi said in a Facebook post.
Govt and Opposition Blame Each Other
Opposition leaders in Bihar on Sunday squarely blamed the Narendra Modi government at the Centre for the train mishap at Vaishali district where the Delhi-bound Seemanchal Express jumped the tracks killing six people.
However, former Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan hit back claiming that rail tracks across the country were under tremendous pressure because of "reckless increase in number of bogies" that took place while RJD supremo Lalu Prasad was the railway minister.
"This government has misplaced priorities. It is trying to introduce bullet trains, running at very high speeds with the help of sophisticated technology. On the other hand, there is a crying need for proper upkeep of ordinary trains like the Seemanchal Express," Loktantrik Janta Dal leader and former Union minister Sharad Yadav said.
Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi also held the Modi government responsible for the mishap and demanded a hefty compensation of "Rupees one crore to the next of the kin of each deceased and Rs 20 lakh to each injured passenger." Bihar Congress working president Kaukab Qadri issued a statement seeking the resignation of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
Six Victims Identified: SDRF
The State Disaster Response Force told ANI that the identities of 6 out of the seven victims have been ascertained.
“Three are from Bengal and Khagaria (Bihar) each. The state government has done the arrangements for the bodies to be sent to their families in Bengal and Khagaria after post-mortem,” an official said.
Bihar Govt Announces Ex-Gratia of Rs 4 Lakh For Family of Deceased
The Bihar government has announced ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of every deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured.