Rajya Rani Express mishap toll rises to 35
Patna: In a tragic incident, at least 35 people, mostly kanwarias, were killed and dozens injured when they came under the wheels of Saharsa-Patna Rajya Rani Express at Dhamara Ghat in Bihar on Monday.
Additional Director General of Police S K Bhardwaj confirmed the death of 35 Hindu pilgrims (Kanwariyas). The death toll may increase because detailed information is yet to come from the accident site, he added.
According to reports, the tragedy occurred when the speeding train (12567) Rajya Rani Express ran over people who were crossing the tracks. The victims were mostly pilgrims to the famous Katyayni Temple.
Today being the last Monday of the auspicious month of Sawan, there was a huge rush of pilgrims at the temple. Those killed were mostly kanwarias or Shiva devotees.
They had alighted from another train when the speeding train – running at 80/kmph as per reports – came in fast, catching them unawares and gave them no time to escape to safety.
The mishap occurred at Dhamara Ghat, 10 kms before the train’s next halt at Mansi junction. Dhamara Ghat comes under Samastipur division of East Central Railway.
Dhamara Ghat, near Indo-Nepal border, is famous for Goddess Katyani Temple, which is visited by a large number of devotees every year.
The incident infuriated the locals, who gheroed the nearby railway station and beat the railway staff there.
Local passengers pelted stones at Rajya Rani Express, which stopped after travelling some distance following the accident. The express train has also been set on fire and the driver has been badly beaten by the angry mob, some reports said.
Angry local residents have also vandalised the railway station and damaged government property.
Top railway and city administration officials have reached the mishap site to take stock of the situation.
Those injured in the incident have been rushed to nearby government hospitals in Katihar and Saharsha.
Train services have been suspended on the route following the incident, railway officials said.