New Delhi, Aug. 19 (PTI): Railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge today announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of those killed in the train mishap in Khagaria district and ordered an inquiry into it.
In a statement in the Rajya Sabha, Kharge said he has spoken to chief minister Nitish Kumar on steps to maintain law and order to facilitate normal train operations. “On humanitarian grounds an ex gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh for those who lost their lives and Rs 1 lakh for those grievously injured has been announced,” he said.
Responding to members' demands for Rs 10 lakh compensation to the families of the deceased, Kharge said the money being paid was in line with compensation given in recent times.
Kharge said: “According to the last information, 28 persons got run over and lost their lives and six were injured.” He said 27 people died on the spot while another died on the way to hospital.
Expressing deep condolence to the bereaved families and sympathies to the injured, he said: “I have spoken to civil aviation minister to issue directions to commissioner of railway safety to inquire into the matter.”
Kharge said: “Two passenger trains were stopped at Dhamra Ghat railway station to give precedence to Rajya Rani Express. Some passengers got down from the passenger trains on non-platform side. In the meantime, Rajya Rani Express was passing through Dhamra Ghat station. The loco pilot after passing home signal, which was on a curvature, saw some persons standing on the tracks and applied emergency brakes. However, by the time the train stopped, some persons got run over. According the last information, 28 persons got run over and lost their lives and six were injured.”
The railway minister said: “After the incident the mob at Dhamara got agitated. They burnt few coaches of Rajya Rani express. Medical relief train left from Barauni at 9.55am for the site. Divisional railway manager of Samastipur, along with his team of doctors and officers, started from Samastipur at 10.50 am and reached the site.”