Five people have been confirmed dead in the rail derailment accident that occurred on Thursday evening in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district. As many as 12 coaches of the Bikaner-Guwahati Express derailed on Thursday at around 5 pm.
Union Railways Minister Ashwini Viashnaw said that he is personally monitoring the situation and has appraised the Prime Minister about the ongoing rescue operations.
An ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh has been announced for the kin of the deceased, Rs 1 lakh for those who receive grievous injuries and Rs 25,000 for those who suffer simple injuries.
As per reports, the train started from Bikaner in Rajasthan and was heading to Guwahati in Assam via Patna when the accident took place near Moinaguri in Jalpaiguri around 5:15 pm on Thursday.
Moinaguri was not one of the train's 34 stoppages and the Bikaner Express was merely passing Jalpaiguri at the time of the incident.
There were a total of 1,200 passengers on the train, including 177 who boarded the train from Bikaner and 98 passengers who boarded the train from Patna junction.
Several passengers are believed to have suffered injuries in the derailment. The injured are being taken to the Moinaguri and Jalpaiguri district hospitals.
Railway Police have already launched a search and rescue operation at the site of the derailment. Two teams of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) from Siliguri comprising 100 personnel have also arrived at the spot.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Railways has issued emergency numbers for Rajasthan (01512725942), Assam (0361-2731621, 2731622, 2731623) and West Bengal (8134054999) and as many as 51 ambulances are reportedly at the scene.
Indian Railways has also diverted nine trains due to the derailment.
A high-level inquiry by the Commission of Railway Safety has been ordered to probe the cause of the accident.