Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday assured a probe into the train tragedy in which many people were run over by the Rajya Rani Express at the Dhamara railway station near Saharsa. At least 28 people are reported to have been killed in the mishap.
"The state government will provide all assistance to the victims. The railways will conduct the inquiry. The state government and railway officials are at the location and keeping a close eye on the situation," Nitish said.
"The state government will give Rs 1.5 lakh to the families of each victim along with Rs 50,000 from the Chief Minister's fund. The state government is engaged in establishing peace in the area," Nitish added.
He said the Railway Ministry has also been requested to provide compensation. "I am deeply saddened by the incident. It's the rarest of the rare incident. I have requested the railway ministry also to provide compensation to the victims," Nitish said.
Nitish also said that officials are facing difficulties in reaching the accident spot. "There's no proper road network to reach the train mishap spot, so there is delay in reaching there. But we are making all efforts," Nitish said.
Meanwhile, the driver of the train has been critically injured after being beaten up by angry locals. The agitating mob also set the Rajya Rani Express and another train on fire.
The railway authorities say the train was running on its scehduled route (Saharsa to Patna) and was not scheduled to stop at the Dhamara station. "It's a three-track station. Two trains were already standing at the station. and the crowd was moving on the third track. A super fast train was coming on that track and they were run over," Arunendra Kumar said.
Kumar also said that there was more crowd on Monday as many pilgrims were going to a local village for a fair. "The train was passing through line number 2 when it ran over some people. Angry locals have set the train on fire. They have not allowed officials to reach the site," said railway PRO Amitav Prabhakar.
Two relief trains on their way to the spot were stopped midway seeing the mob fury. They proceeded after forces secured the site. One of the relief trains from Saharsa has reached the spot.
The train ran over the people who were getting off a local train at the railway station to go to a local temple for worship. The local train has also been set ablaze by the angry locals.