After a train accident in Uttar Pardesh's Jaunpur district which killed four people and 45 injured others, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banrejee floated a sabotage theory. The Railways Minister, Mukul Roy, belongs to Ms Banerjee's party - he is her representative in the union cabinet.
"Since the accident has taken place during a country-wide bandh we want this to be probed. Who has caused this mishap? It has to be seen whether this is truly an accident or an incident," said Ms Banerjee who was Railways Minister herself till she was elected chief minister last year. She was referring to a bandh or countrywide strike called today by the BJP, its allies and Ms Banerjee's political rivals, the Left.
The Doon Express was on its way to Dehradun from Howrah when derailed near Koridia village about 35 km from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh. The cause of the accident, which happened at around 1.13 in the afternoon, is not known yet. Railway authorities say the driver reportedly saw an "obstruction" on the tracks. The train derailed about 12 minutes after leaving Jaunpur. The accident site is near the Mahrawa station. The train had left Howrah in West Bengal last evening around 8 pm.
Railway Ministry spokesman Anil Saxena said in Delhi, "While four of the coaches got tilted, three of them derailed. So the coaches which are affected are the 11th onwards from the engine, upto the 17th coach."
The train has a total of 18 coaches, with around 60 people in each. Relief teams have been rushed to the spot from Varanasi and Lucknow. This includes medical teams and a rescue train
"Many people from the media and nearby villages are helping us. Those who have died include a child," a passenger Dinesh Yadav told NDTV over the phone. "It felt like the train was travelling on a track full of stones," he added describing the time when the accident took place.
Railways Minister Mukul Roy left for the accident site today evening. He has ordered a high-level probe into the accident. "I have ordered a high-level inquiry to find out why such repeated accidents are happening. We will take serious steps to prevent such accidents," he said. The minister also announced compensation of Rs.5 lakh for the families of each of those killed; Rs. 1 lakh for those injured and Rs. 25,000 for those who have sustained minor injuries.
In a press release issued by the Railways, Mr Roy has termed the incident as 'unfortunate and tragic'.
This is the second rail mishap in 10 days. At least 25 people were killed when the Hampi Express rammed a stationary goods train in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur on May 22.
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