The Railways have attributed the derailment of 14 bogies of the Guwahati-bound Rajdhani Express between Kharik and Naugachia on the Barauni-Katihar section of East Central Railway to “suspected sabotage,” the second in less than 20 days in Bihar.
Official sources said there was no casualty, and dozen-odd passengers, who received minor injuries, were given first aid and discharged.
The inspection report said two metres of the rail was missing. Forensic experts have been summoned from Patna to investigate how the track was cut.
The speed was restricted to 90 kmph, but at a few places it was 45 kmph and 60 kmph.
The sources said the train driver had applied the brakes.
Services on the route have been restored, but five trains were cancelled and four others regulated.
A statutory probe into the derailment will be conducted by the Commissioner of Railway Safety, Eastern Circle, Kolkata.
On May 7, the 3106 Sealdah-Ballia Express derailed in the Barauni-Hajipur section, also in Bihar. Government officials had ruled out sabotage and said the accident was caused by poor maintenance of tracks.
They said a passenger train derailed September last year because of land subsistence.
The preliminary report of the investigation into the derailment of the Sheopurkalan-Gwalior passenger between Sumaouli and Bomorgaon in the Jhansi Division of North Central Railway in April last has attributed the accident to a combination of deficiencies in track and locomotive maintenance. One person was killed and 17 others were injured in the derailment.
The probe was conducted by P.K. Bajpai, Commissioner of Railway Safety, North Eastern Circle, Lucknow.
The report said the ballast cushion of the track was below the prescribed level. The fish-plated joint gaps were in need of adjustment, being excessive at some places and tight at others.
The leading left wheel of the leading trolley of the locomotive was defective.