Kolkata | Jagran News Desk: Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Friday said that the preliminary inquiry showed a glitch in the locomotive equipment as the reason behind the train accident at Domohani in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. He also stated that the Commission of Rail Safety is conducting an inquiry to find the root cause of the incident.

Vaishnaw said, "Preliminary inquiry shows there was a glitch in locomotive equipment. The Commission of Rail Safety is conducting an inquiry to find the root cause behind the accident." The Railway Minister visited the train accident site at Domohani in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal.

The death toll in the Bikaner-Guwahati train accident in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district has risen to nine while 36 injured and have been admitted to different hospitals, Union Minister John Barla said on Friday adding that the rescue operations have ended. The tragic mishap happened when 12 coaches of the Bikaner-Guwahati Express train derailed and some overturned near Domohani in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district on Thursday.

Here are the Latest Updates from the tragic incident:

"Preliminary inquiry shows there was a glitch in locomotive equipment. The Commission of Rail Safety is conducting an inquiry to find the root cause behind the accident", Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said. 

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw reached the accident spot on Friday morning to inspect the tragic accident and announced that a statutory inquiry has been initiated into the matter. "A statutory inquiry has been initiated. PM Modi is monitoring the situation & I'm in constant touch with him. I wish a speedy recovery to the injured".

- The accident occurred around 5 pm in an area under the Alipurduar division of Northeast Frontier Railway, an NFR spokesperson said in Guwahati. While 9 people have so far been killed in the accident, the number of injured currently stands at 36.

- While 23 passengers are undergoing treatment at Super Specialty Hospital in Jalpaiguri, six are admitted to North Bengal Medical College and seven at Maynaguri Rural Hospital.

-  The NFR general manager, Anshul Gupta, reached the spot at 12.08 am on Friday and is supervising the restoration work of tracks for the normalisation of train movement.

- As per Union Minister John Barla, the rescue operation ended today morning after the rescuers thoroughly searched each coach for survivors and bodies through darkness and thick fog. The injured are being treated at hospitals in Maynaguri and Jalpaiguri. Barla also said that some passengers were sent to Guwahati through special trains.

- Commissioner, Railway Safety, will conduct an inquiry into the cause of the accident, a railway official said in New Delhi. According to reports, the rail track had a crack due to which the tragic accident took place. However, the exact cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained. There were 1,053 passengers on board the train at the time of the derailment, it said, adding those stranded were provided drinking water and snacks.

- West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the tragedy when they were in the middle of an online meeting to review the Covid situation in the country with other CMs.

- The Prime Minister also earlier today took stock of the situation. He also announced an enhanced amount of ex gratia compensation to the victims of the accident. "Spoke to Railways Minister Shri @AshwiniVaishnaw 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," he later tweeted.

- The Railways have announced an ex gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of those killed in the accident, Rs 1 lakh to the grievously injured and Rs 25,000 for passengers with simple injury.

- President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu too expressed grief over the accident and wished speedy recovery to those injured. "The derailment of coaches of the Bikaner-Guhawati Express near New Maynaguri, West Bengal is distressing. My thoughts and prayers are with the affected passengers and their families. I wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” Kovind tweeted.

- Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has asked Energy Minister Bhanwar Singh Bhati and Disaster Management and Relief Minister Govind Ram Meghwal to rush to Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal and coordinate relief efforts on behalf of the state government.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan