Twelve coaches of the Guwahati-bound Bikaner Express derailed in the Moynaguri region of north Bengal on Thursday evening, leaving five passengers dead and many injured.

Jalpaiguri district magistrate Moumita Godara Basu said five bodies have been found till 7pm and over 20 passengers with injuries rushed to the local Moynaguri government hospital. About 15 passengers are reported to be in a critical condition. A special train from Jalpaiguri reached the accident site at around 7 pm to take the injured to hospital.

The location where the accident took place is part of the Alipurduar section of the North East Frontier Railway.

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A railways spokesperson said the accident took place at 5pm, nearly seven minutes after the express train passed the New Domohani station. “12 coaches jumped off the tracks of which two capsized,” Guneet Kaur, chief public relation officer of Northeast Frontier Railway said.

Railway officials, who rushed to the spot from different locations, said it was getting dark by the time the initial team of rescue workers reached the site.

The Jalpaiguri district magistrate said they were getting generators to light up the area. “All departments have been alerted. Rescue staff are being rushed from all locations,” Basu said.

In New Delhi, the railroads ordered a high-level inquiry into the accident by the railway safety commissioner.

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