PATNA: Nine people were killed and four others were left grievously injured while walking on the railway tracks on a bridge across a rivulet as they were hit by a goods train in Bihar’s Sheikhpura district on Sunday night.
While seven people died on the spot, two others died at the hospital, officials said on Monday. The incident took place close to Sirari railway station at about 8:30 PM, and a storm blowing at the time, along with darkness is said to have caused the mishap.
The victims, who were daily-wagers, included three men, women and children each, who belong to two villages in nearby Lakhiserai district. Minutes before the mishap, the victims had got down the Rampurhat-Gaya passenger train at Sirari station.
“They got on the tracks of the railway bridge across the Soma river near Sirari station as a shortcut instead of using the road to reach their homes nearby. They apparently could not see the goods train coming on the tracks. A probe into the mishap is on,” said Ranjit Kumar Singh, the public relations officer of Danapur railway division.
The absence of a pavement on the railway bridge over the river could have saved their lives, said officials. A storm that started blowing when they were on the railway bridge apparently prevented them from hearing the approaching goods train. The goods train was also travelling at a very high speed and the driver failed to see the people walking on the tracks, said sources.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar condoled the deaths and announced ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh for each victims’. The Railways, however, said no ex gratia would be released as the mishap was a result of the victims’ own mistakes, said sources.
Movement of trains on the route – Kiul-Gaya section of East Central Railway (ECR) – was disrupted for nearly four hours.