Four passengers were killed and several others injured when a dozen bogies of Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express derailed close to Golden Ganj railway station near Chapra in Bihar in the early hours of Wednesday.

Altogether 12 coaches of the train derailed, with five going off the tracks first leading to casualties and seven bogies overturning a little later. Some of the coaches were hurled as far as 700 feet away from the tracks, said Chief Public Relations Officer of East Central Railway Arvind Kumar Rajak. Three passengers were killed on the spot while another succumbed to injuries in hospital, Mr. Rajak added.

The dead have been identified as Pawan Dhawan (40) and Shrimati Nilam (39), both from Firojpur in Punjab, and Shefali Dey (65) of Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh. Those injured are being treated in hospitals in Chapra and Patna.

Railway Board Chairman Arunendra Kumar said prima facie it appeared to be a case of sabotage by Maoists. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, however, maintained that it was too early to blame anyone. “Even the Prime Minister agrees that it is too early to blame the Naxals. Let us wait for further report on the incident,” said Mr. Singh before adding that another goods train had derailed about 60 km away from the Rajdhani accident site.

Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi disputed the Maoist blast theory. “No trace of blast on the track or any other evidence suggesting sabotage has been found so far. It appears to be a result of error on the part of Railways,” he said. According to railway officials, however, the coaches were of the latest Linke Hofmann Busch make and its anti-telescoping features (coaches climbing on one another) and other safety aspects minimised the casualties

The PMO later tweeted:

PTI adds:

Sabotage suspected

Railways suspected sabotage by Maoists behind the derailment. “Prima facie, it appears to be a case of sabotage. There was a blast on the track, which could have caused the derailment,” Railway Board Chairman Arunendra Kumar said.

“Another goods train, 60 km away from the station, also got derailed due to a blast. Eighteen wagons got derailed in the accident,” Mr. Kumar said.

The Maoists have given a bandh call on Wednesday to protest “strong armed” action by security forces against “innocent people” in the area on suspicion of being Maoists sympathiser.

Railway has ordered an enquiry to be conducted by Commissioner Railway Safety, Eastern Circle to ascertain the cause of derailment.

Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Wednesday ruled out the involvement of Maoists in the Rajdhani Express derailment in Chapra which left four persons dead and said the incident appears to be a result of “error” on the part of Railways.

Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda has announce ex-gratia of rupees 2 lakh for the family of each of the deceased, rupees one lakh for the grievously injured passengers and 20 thousand rupees for those with minor injuries. “I will see what all things happened there, how our officers are tackling the situation. I want to see the real place, where the incident took place,” Mr. Gowda told reporters before leaving for Bihar to visit the accident spot .

Helplines have been set up to provide information to families of the victims and other passengers at Chapra, Samastipur, Hajipur, Sonpur, Barauni, Muzaffarpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Balia, Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Mariani, Dimapur, Lumding, New Coochbehar, New Jalpaiguri and Katihar.

Following is the chronology of major train accidents since 2000:

June 4, 2014: Yeswantpur-Howrah express derails in Kuppam, AP.

May 27, 2014: Delhi Gorakhpur Gorakhdam Express derailed at Sant Kabir Nagar, UP. Death toll stood at over 40.

May,4, 2014: Diva-Savantwadi road passenger derails in Raigad district in Maharashtra. 22 dead, over 145 injured in the mishap.

April 14, 2014: Goods train derails at Ukshi, Maharashtra. Konkan Railway route trains affected.

November, 2013: Ernakulam bound Nizamuddin-Ernakulam Mangala Lakshadweep derailed at Ghoti. 4 dead, 23 injured in the incident.

July 19, 2010: Speeding Sealdah-bound Uttarbanga Express rammed into the Vanachal Express at Sainthia station in Bhirbhum district killing over 60 people.

May 28, 2010: Gnaneshwari Express derailed by Naxals killing at least 148 people.

January 16, 2010: Three people died and around a dozen were injured when two express trains — Kalindi Express and Shram Shakti Express — collided in thick fog in Uttar Pradesh.

January 16, 2010: Three people died and around a dozen were injured when two express trains — Kalindi Express and Shram Shakti Express — collided in thick fog in Uttar Pradesh.

October 21, 2009: Twenty-two people were killed and 26 injured when the Goa Express rammed the Mewar Express at Banjana on the Mathura-Vrindavan section of the Northern Railway in Uttar Pradesh.

November 14, 2009: The Delhi-bound Mandore Express derailed with some portion of the track piercing its AC compartment, leaving seven passengers dead and over 60 injured in in Bassi town near Jaipur.

November 9, 2006: About 40 died and 15 injured in a West Bengal rail accident.

December 1, 2006: A portion of 150-year-old bridge being dismantled collapsed over a passing train in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district, killing 35 and injuring 17.

August 18, 2006: Two carriages caught fire on Chennai-Hyderabad Express near Secundrabad railway station.

December 15, 2004: 34 persons, including 11 women, died and about 50 injured when Ahmedabad-bound Jammu Tawi Express collided head-on with a local train about 40 km from Jalandhar in Punjab.

February 27, 2004: 30 people killed when Guwahati-bound Kanchenjunga Express rammed into a truck at an unmanned level-crossing in West Bengal’s Dinajpur district.

July 2, 2003: A train engine and two adjoining coaches fell off a bridge in Warangal, killing 18 people.

June 22, 2003: 53 were killed and 25 injured when Karwar-Mumbai Central Holiday Special train derailed after crossing Vaibhavwadi Station in Sindhudurg district in Maharashtra.

June 22, 2003: 53 were killed and 25 injured when Karwar-Mumbai Central Holiday Special train derailed after crossing Vaibhavwadi Station in Sindhudurg district in Maharashtra.

Sept 10, 2002: One hundred and twenty are killed when the Kolkata-New Delhi Rajdhani Express derailed over a bridge in Bihar.

September 9, 2002: 100 passengers were killed and 150 hurt when a bogie of Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani Express plunged into Dhave river in Bihar’s Aurangabad district.

June 4, 2002: Thirty-four killed when the Kasgunj Express rams into a bus at a rail crossing.

March 23, 2002: Seven injured when 13 bogies of Lokmanya Tilak Superfast Express from Patna to Mumbai derailed near Narsinghpur in Madhya Pradesh.

May 12, 2002: Twelve killed when the New Delhi-Patna Shramjeevi Express derails in Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh.

January 5, 2002: 21 killed and 41 injured when Secundarabad-Manmad express train rammed into a stationary goods train at Ghatnandur station in Maharashtra.

June 22, 2001: Forty people killed when the Mangalore-Chennai Mail fell into Kadalundi river near Kozhikode in Kerala.

Dec 3, 2000: Forty-six killed and over 130 injured as the Howrah-Amritsar Mail rams into a derailed goods train between Sarai Banjara and Sadhugarh in Punjab.