GUWAHATI, March 22 - Services of some long-distance trains to and from the State were affected on Friday following an incident of fire in the engine of the Chandigarh-Dibrugarh Express that took place in the morning near Chaterhat railway station, 20 km from New Jalpaiguri.
Two persons died after they jumped in panic from the Chandigarh-Dibrugarh Express, railway officials said. However, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has not yet disclosed the names of the deceased.
Pranav Jyoti Sharma, chief public relations officer of NFR, said the engine of the Chandigarh-Dibrugarh Express caught fire around 11.20 am. “The engine and one luggage cum guard compartment were damaged in the incident. On receipt of information, a fire brigade team left from New Jalpaiguri for the site. A railway medical team, along with accident relief train, also left immediately for the site. The unaffected coaches were detached and brought back to Chaterhat station by attaching another engine,” he said.
“Two bodies were recovered from the site by the railway medical team. The bodies do not have any burn signs,” Sharma added. Railway sources said that as per reports, both persons panicked after noticing the fire and jumped from the train.
Senior railway officials, including NFR general manager Sanjive Roy, are camping at the incident site.
Normal running of trains in the New Jalpaiguri-Aluabari section was affected due to incident. Many long-distance train to and from Assam including the Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani Express, the Kamakhya-Puri Express, the Silchar-Trivandrum Express and the Kamakhya-Rajendranagar Capital Express were diverted via the Siliguri Junction-Bagdogra-Aluabari section.
The affected Chandigarh-Dibrugarh Express left Chaterhat station at 3.35 pm. Work is on to clear the section for restoring normal train services. An inquiry by the Commissioner of Railway Safety has been ordered into the incident.