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Bihar: 32 killed as bridge collapses on train
December 02, 2006 10:38 IST
Last Updated: December 02, 2006 21:12 IST
At least 32 people, including seven women and five children, were killed and 16 injured as a 150-year-old bridge fell on a coach of an express train near Bhagalpur, Bihar, on Saturday.
Twenty-seven bodies have been brought to the Bhagalpur Railway station for identification, Ajay Verma, DIG (Railways) said.
He said so far 32 bodies have been recovered including that of seven women and five children and operations were on to look for passengers in the badly mangled S-8 coach. The accident occurred at 7.50 am when a portion of the third arch and the pillar of the bridge known as ulta pul, which was being dismantled by railways workers, collapsed on a sleeper coach, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav said.
Lalu said that efforts are on to rescue some of the passengers still believed to be trapped in the badly mangled coach.
Of those killed, four have been identified. They are: 14-month-old Iasha Kumari, Mohammed Khursheed, Arvind Mandal and Ravi Kumar.
The bodies of the dead in the accident have been kept at the police station at Bhagalpur Railway Junction for identification.
Railway sources said rescue operations were on full swing and the rescuers were using gas cutter to ensure early completion of work and maximum safety to the ones trapped inside the mangled coach.
The railway minister, who was campaigning for the by-poll in Manihari in Katihar at the time of the accident, announced an ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh to the next of kin of each of the dead and also a railway job to an eligible member of each of the bereaved family.
He said the Railways would meet entire expenses for the treatment of the injured.
Lalu also asked the commissioner of railway safety, eastern railway, to inquire into the mishap.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the state government will probe the criminal angle of the incident and take appropriate legal action.
Two railway engineers supervising the dismantling of the bridge have been suspended and the railway board chairman has been directed to get cases registered against them for their alleged lapses.