Twenty-four people, including 15 railway employees were feared killed when a goods train fell into a 100-mt-deep gorge from a bridge at Mupa in North Cachar Hill district of Assam on Monday morning.
Seven of the killed included the locomotive driver Deepak Sen and six other trackmen working at the site.
Seven others, including assistant locomotive driver M K Rajak were injured. They were admitted to hospital.
A Northeast Frontier Railway spokesman informed that the mishap took place at Boila Railway Bridge constructed during British days between Mupa and Dihakhu railway stations along the meter-gauge line in Lumding-Badarpur hill section of the railway.
Six bogies of the train and the engine fell into the gorge. The bridge was over 100 years old. The NF Railway Rs 1500-crore ongoing gauge conversion project is still continuing in the hill section where the meter gauge line is still serving as the lifeline.
The railways is still making an assessment of the damage caused to lives and property by the mishap even as all the railway services along the hill section, the only railway link linking Assam to northeastern states of Manipur and Tripura, have been cancelled.
The goods train was going from Lumding to Silchar. About the deaths of so many civilians in a goods train mishap, a railway spokesman said that due to poor roads, the tribal people of the North Cachar Hill usually jump on to goods trains to reach the south.