One killed, 61 injured as Brahmaputra Mail derails in NE

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Siliguri, Dec 10 (UNI) A pantry worker was killed and 61 people were injured, when 13 bogies of the Brahmaputra Mail went off tracks about 20 km from New Jalpaiguri junction late last night.

The body of the pantry worker was recovered early this morning, Additional Divisional Railway Manager of New Jalpaiguri N Punnuswamy, supervising the rescue operation, said.

He said the gas cutters were deployed to cut through the pantry car and few other bogies.

Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) sources said rescue work was being caried out on war-footing to clear the tracks and restore the railway-link to the region.

The cause of the accident was yet to be ascertained. However, preliminary investigation said loose cufflinks led to the accident.

''An inquiry has been ordered by the NFR and only after the report is available, we will be able to find out the exact reason behind the incident, '' said Mr Punnuswami, who, however, did not rule out the possibility of a sabotage.

Sources at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, where eight of the injured were admitted, said the condition of one patient was critical, while 28 passengers were undergoing treatment at the NJP Railway hospital.

However, 25 injured passengers were released after first-aid from the Railway hospital.

The Brahmaputra Mail, which had set out from Guwahati was headed for New Delhi when the incident occurred between Rangapani and Nijbari stations at 2315 hours last night, the sources said.

While six bogies of the train touched the ground after derailment, seven others skidded off the tracks.

Locals swung into action immediately to help the trapped passengers, including women and children, come out of the derailed bogies.

A railway medical van rushed to the spot and treated passengers on an emergency basis after rescuing them and referred some of them to North Bengal Medical College and Hospital.

Two emergency relief vans also rushed to the spot and took 1200-1300 passengers to Katihar from where they had been sent to Delhi by a special train.

Senior NFR officials ordered a high level inquiry into the accident.

Eds: Please pick up suitably from earlier series.

UNI

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