On Wednesday night, a routine train journey turned into a nightmare as the North East Express, making its way from Delhi to Guwahati, derailed near Bihar’s Raghunathpur station in Buxar district. The clock showed 9:53 pm when disaster struck, six coaches of the train veering off the tracks. Among the chaos and terror, four lives were tragically lost, and more than 110 passengers found themselves injured, some severely.
The train, a lifeline for many commuters, was torn apart as two AC 3 Tier coaches flipped over, while four others jumped the tracks, leaving behind a scene reminiscent of a disaster movie. The incident sent shockwaves through the community, leaving eyewitnesses in shock of the destruction and confusion.
Local resident Hari Pathak described, “The train was moving at a normal pace, and suddenly, there was a deafening noise followed by a plume of smoke. We rushed to the site and saw the aftermath derailed coaches, especially the AC ones, bore the brunt of the impact.”
Swift action followed the catastrophe. Ambulances and doctors rushed to the site, ensuring the injured received immediate medical attention. The more critically wounded were transported to AIIMS in Patna, where medical teams worked tirelessly to stabilize them. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, expressing condolences for the lives lost, assured the public that evacuation and rescue operations were completed. He pledged a thorough investigation, promising to uncover the root cause of the derailment.
The aftermath of the incident rippled through the region’s railway services. A total of 18 trains, including the vital Rajdhani Express connecting Delhi and Dibrugarh, had to be diverted. To manage the crisis effectively, two trains, the Kashi Patna Jan Shatabdi Express and the Patna Kashi Jan Shatabdi Express, were cancelled. The impact of the derailment was not merely a logistical challenge; it was a stark reminder of the critical importance of safety measures in the nation’s extensive railway network.
In the midst of this tragedy, heroes emerged. Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, who represented Buxar, took charge, liaising with railway and district officials to coordinate relief efforts. Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s office played a crucial role, closely monitoring the situation and working closely with various agencies. Their proactive response showcased the unity and resilience of the nation in the face of adversity.
As the investigation continued, the incident underscored the need for stringent safety protocols and reinforced the government’s commitment to passenger safety. The nation mourned the lives lost and stood united in supporting the survivors, hoping for their swift recovery. The incident served as a dark reminder of the challenges inherent in managing such a vast and bustling railway network, prompting renewed efforts to ensure the security and well-being of every passenger.