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Maoists blow up rail tracks, Howrah-Mumbai service disrupted for hours

No serious injuries, 8 trains stopped immediately in Rourkela-Chakradharpur section
The blast site between Sonua and Lotapahar stations on Monday.

Pinaki Majumdar   |   Jamshedpur   |   Published 26.04.21, 08:52 PM

The movement of trains on the Howrah-Mumbai route was affected for several hours on Monday as CPI-Maoist rebels who had called a Bharat Bandh against the policies of the Centre triggered a blast on the railway tracks between Lotapahar and Sonua railway stations, about 80 Kms from here.

The spot falls under Chakradharpur division of South Eastern Railways (SER) in West singhbhum district.


Though no casualties took place, the powerful blast damaged the railway tracks for about two meters. A major incident was averted, said railway sources.

Spokesperson of Chakradharpur railway division, Manish Pathak, said the blast took place at around 2.15 am and the information of the blast was received by the station manager of Sonua from the driver of a goods train. 

"On receiving  the information movement of trains on  Rourkela-Chakradharpur section was immediately stopped and as many as eight  mail / express trains and several goods trains were stopped at different stations - Sini, Chakradharpur, Sonua, Goelkera, Manoharpur , Rourkela and Tatanagar," said the spokesperson.

Some of the affected trains included Howrah-Pune Azad Hind Express, Tata-  Alleppey Express, Howrah -Ahmedabad Express, Ahmedabad - Howrah Express and several other passenger and goods trains.

Patrolling teams along with Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force rushed to the spot and started an investigation.

During the investigation it was found that the Up main line was damaged in the blast.

Restoration work began after getting necessary security clearances.

Movement of trains on the Down line and the new third line was restored after 8 am while movement of trains on the Up line resumed at around 10 am after clearance from all departments. 

Chief Public Relations Officer of South Eastern Railway, Sanjay Ghosh, said,'' Train movement in Chakrdharpur and Rourkela section has become normal. An enquiry in this regard has been ordered by the DRM of Chakradharpur division.``

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