West Bengal: Eight Dead, Many Injured After Goods Train Hits Kanchanjunga Express

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West Bengal: Eight Dead, Many Injured After Goods Train Hits Kanchanjunga Express

| Updated: June 17, 2024 13:04

At least eight passengers have died, and 25 others were seriously injured after an express train collided with a goods train in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal on Monday.

A freight train hit the Kanchanjunga Express from behind near Rangapani station, close to New Jalpaiguri, when it was travelling from Silchar, Assam, to Sealdah, Kolkata.

There have been reports of many Kanchanjunga Express coaches derailing in the collision. One factor that limited casualties in the accident was the fact that the rear part of Kanchanjunga Express consisted of the cargo van and the guard’s coach, and the passenger compartments further ahead.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stated that the doctors and disaster response teams have been rushed to the location.

Taking to X (formally Twitter), she wrote, “Shocked to learn, just now, about a tragic train accident, in Phansidewa area of Darjeeling district. While details are awaited, Kanchenjunga Express has reportedly been hit by a goods train. DM, SP, doctors, ambulances and disaster teams have been rushed to the site for rescue, recovery, and medical assistance. Action on war-footing initiated.” 

Every day, the Kanchanjunga Express connects Bengal with the Northeastern cities of Agartala and Silchar. The Chicken’s Neck corridor, which links the Northeast with the rest of the nation, passes along this route. Several trains’ movements may be impacted by the accident on this line.

As per the initial reports, the goods train had crossed the signal and collided with the Kanchanjunga Express. Ambulances and members of the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed to the site. 

The Indian Railways have provided emergency numbers for individuals to call in order to inquire about the situation. The numbers are 033-23508794 and 033-23833326 (Sealdah) and 03612731621, 03612731622, and 03612731623 at Guwahati.

Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has departed for the site of the mishap. He stated that rescue efforts had begun on a war footing in a post on X.

“Unfortunate accident in NFR zone. Rescue operations going on at war footing. Railways, NDRF and SDRF are working in close coordination. The injured are being shifted to the hospital. Senior officials have reached the site,” he said.

Northeast Frontier Railway CPRO Sabyasachi De stated that no notice has yet been sent on the cancellation or diversion of other trains operating on the route. An accident relief train is on its way, he said, adding, “We will try to complete the rescue operation as soon as possible.”

President Droupadi Murmu said the news of the loss of lives in the train collision is “deeply distressing”. 

“My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured and success of relief and rescue operations,” she said in a post on X.

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