Jalpaiguri, West Bengal: At least eight people were killed while around 67 persons have been injured after 12 coaches of Guwahati-Bikaner Express derailed in the Domohani area in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district on Thursday afternoon.
According to initial reports, the Guwahati-Bikaner Express 15633 (up) started from Bikaner in Rajasthan was heading to Guwahati in Assam via Patna when the accident took place near Maynaguri in Jalpaiguri district at around 5.15 pm on Thursday.
As per sources, there were around 1,200 passengers on board the ill-fated train.
At least 50 injured were rescued, as per West Bengal government sources. 10 have been critically injured, sources added. 24 of the injured were sent to Jalpaiguri district hospital and 16 were sent to Moynaguri government hospital. The critical passengers will be shifted to the North Bengal Medical College in Siliguri, New Frontier Railway sources said.
Many passengers are feared trapped inside the derailed coaches and gas cutters are being used to cut open the mangled coaches, according to Railway sources.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has said he is "personally monitoring" the situation and that he has spoken to PM Narendra Modi and apprised him of the rescue operations. "We will fulfil all of our duties," he has said.
A High-level Commissioner Railway Safety inquiry has been ordered in the accident. Chairperson of the Railway Board and DG (Safety), Railway Board are leaving from Delhi to the site of the accident.
Visuals from the accident site show people being rescued from the debris of multiple damaged train coaches lying sideways next to the elevated train tracks. Police can be seen on-site, with locals and other passengers helping in relief and rescue operations.
Rescue trains from New Jalpaiguri and New Alipurduar have been rushed to the spot.
"We felt a sudden shock. We were all rocking violently and luggage kept on upper berths tumbled all around," a passenger told news agency PTI.
Compensation has been announced as ₹ 5 lakh for death, ₹ 1 lakh for grievous injury, and ₹ 25,000 for "minor injuries".