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Train tracks clear, services normal

The railways removed debris at the site of the foot overbridge collapse at Samastipur junction on Monday evening and resumed services within two-and-a-half hours.

The administration had to detain one Sealdah(Calcutta)-bound Ganga Sagar Express at Muktapur, while diverting the Amritsar-bound Garib Rath Express that reached Samastipur via Hassanpur. The bridge collapse did not hamper operations much as there were no other trains scheduled around that time.

After the bridge collapsed on the Katihar-bound Amrapali Express at 7.45pm on Monday, one of its compartments was partially damaged, injuring 22-year-old Mohamman Nadim, a resident of Kishanganj. The railways gave him a compensation of Rs 5,000 on Tuesday morning and got him treated at the railway hospital at the district headquarters, about 100km northeast of Patna.

Elaborating the accident, Samastipur divisional railway manager, East Central Railway, Arun Malik said: “A shunting engine hit a compartment of Amrapali Express, ignoring the signal. The compartment, in turn, hit a column of the foot overbridge sideways, resulting in the collapse of a lightweight slab partially on the train compartment. The rest of the slab got entangled in the power cables. Two tracks were blocked. No casualty was reported except an injury to the youth.”

Malik said: “It is too early to arrive at any conclusion. A three-member committee would probe the accident. The railway headquarters would nominate the members but they would be administrative officers. Prima facie, it seems that the driver, who ignored the signal while taking the engine to the yard was at fault.”

Senior divisional commercial manager of Samastipur rail division MAI Humayun said: “Since there were no trains in the time span following the accident, the clearance work was conducted smoothly. We resumed normal services by 10am on Tuesday..”