Thursday, November 19, 2009

Naxals derail train in Jharkhand, one killed


Ranchi: Naxals blew up a railway track in Jharkhand late on Thursday night derailing eight bogies of a passenger train in which at least one person was killed and 29 others injured.

Out of the 29 injured five are stated to be in a critical condition and they have been shifted to the Ispat General Hospital in Rourkela in the neighbouring state of Orissa.

The railway track between Manoharpur and Pasaita station in Chaibasa district was blown up on Thursday night at around 2100 hrs IST leading to the derailment of eight bogies of the Tata Nagar-Bilaspur passenger train.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), Kolhan, Manoj Kumar Mishra said that one woman died in the derailment.

The Naxals also triggered three to four blasts, possibly to deter rescue work.

Speaking to CNN-IBN, Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee confirmed that preliminary reports suggest that the bogies have been badly damaged due to the derailment. She also said that the Railway Ministry was monitoring the situation and has been in touch with the state police.

"Government and Home Ministry are doing all they can but the problem is that railways have become a soft target for Naxals," said Mamata.

The guard of the train A Biswas said that rescue operation were still on.

"This happened as soon as the the train left Pasaita. There was a sudden jerk and the train stopped. There was a lot of dust outside and bogies overturned. Many were injured. We rescued some people but there are more who are trapped. Rescue operations are on," said Biswas.

The train comprised 10 coaches of which five derailed and three toppled along with the engine.

Railway also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the dead, Rs 1 lakh for critically injured and Rs 10,000 for injured.

At least six trains have been diverted following the blast. The trains 2129 Azad Hind Express, 2905 Happa-Howrah Express, 2809 Mumbai-Howrah Mail have been diverted via -Rourkela-Muri-Purulia route while 2151 Samarsata Express has been diverted via Adra.

Two more trains 8006 Samleswari Express and Howrah-bound 2442 Rajdhani Express have diverted via Bilaspur. The Rajdhani Express would be short-terminated at Rourkela, railways officials said.

Elections for the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly are scheduled to held in five phases from November 25 through December 18. Naxals have been opposing the elections process and put up posters in many areas of the state asking people to boycott elections.

Helpline phone number: Jamshedpur: 0657- 2290324

Helpline phone numbers: Rourkela: 0661-2501072. Chakradharpur: 06587-238072

(With inputs from Prabhakar Kumar)

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