Explosion on Rail Track derails Palamu Express in Dhanbad Division of Jharkhand, Maoists hand suspected

Chhipadohar (CPDR): In a suspected attack by Maoists, ultras blew up a section of rail track in Jharkhand on Tuesday evening, leading to derailment of an Express train. Palamau Express derailed this evening after suspected Maoists blew up a stretch of railway tracks in Latehar district but no casualty or injury was reported. The tracks were blown up at Chhipadohar in Latehar district of the tribal state minutes before Train no 13347 Palamu Express from Barkakana to Patna was to pass through from the stretch. The engine and three coaches of the train going from Barkakana to Patna jumped the rails following the blast, Chhipadohar railway station master R P Bhagotia said. Chhipadohar is less than 10 kms before Bharwadih junction. The driver of the train was unaware of the breach in the track, leading to the derailment of the passenger train. Initial reports suggest that three bogies of the train have derailed. However, there was no casualty or injury to any passenger due to the derailment, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Palamau Range) Saket Kumar Singh said. The station master said the blast occurred around 8 PM near Kuchila village between Chhipadohar and Barwadih stations. The CPI (Maoist) is observing a 24-hour bandh today in Bihar and Jharkhand to protest against the gunning down of their cadres in Palamau district on June 9. A source said over ten-meter stretch of the track on CIC section (Ranchi-New Delhi via Barkakana route) under Dhanbad division of the south eastern railway has been damaged. The incident has disrupted railway traffic on the crucial section. Several important trains are stranded at various railway stations. Chhipadohar is among the worst Maoist-hit areas where police fear to go at night. A police officer said the Maoists used improvised explosive device for the blast after which the train approached and detailed around 9pm. Jharkhand police spokesperson S N Pradhan said: “The exact damage is not known now. The forces have been sent to the spot.”