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HomeIndiaBengal Train Tragedy: Goods Train Collides with Kanchanjungha Express, Leaving 15 Dead...

Bengal Train Tragedy: Goods Train Collides with Kanchanjungha Express, Leaving 15 Dead and 60 Injured

PM announced that an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh would be provided to the next of kin of each deceased, while the injured would receive Rs 50,000 in assistance.

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Kolkata, Jun 17 (The Street Press India) – At least 15 passengers were killed and 60 injured on Monday morning when a goods train collided with the stationary Sealdah-bound Kanchanjungha Express in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district, officials reported. The impact caused three rear coaches of the Kanchanjungha Express to derail.

Officials warned that the death toll could rise as rescue operations continue. Multiple state and central agencies, along with local residents, are working urgently to free passengers who may still be trapped inside the wreckage.

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The deceased include the pilot and co-pilot of the goods train, as well as the guard of the passenger train, according to a senior railway official. Police reported that the injured are being transported to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital.

The collision occurred near Rangapani station, about 30 kilometers from North Bengal’s New Jalpaiguri station. The impact caused the three rear compartments of the Kanchanjungha Express to derail.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences in a post on X, stating, “The railway accident in West Bengal is saddening. Condolences to those who lost their loved ones.”

“I pray that the injured recover at the earliest. Spoke to officials and took stock of the situation. Rescue operations are underway to assist the affected. The Railways Minister Shri @AshwiniVaishnaw Ji is on the way to the site of the mishap as well,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw traveled to West Bengal on Monday to oversee relief operations following the train accident. He announced ex-gratia compensation for the victims.

In a post on X, Vaishnaw stated that Rs 10 lakh would be given to the next of kin of the deceased, Rs 2.5 lakh to the grievously injured, and Rs 50,000 to those with minor injuries.

Preliminary information from railway officials indicates that the Kanchanjungha Express was stationary on the tracks when it was struck from behind by the goods train.

The severe impact immediately threw two rear compartments of the Kanchanjungha Express off the tracks, while another bogie was left hanging precariously mid-air with the goods train engine wedged underneath.

Officials noted that inclement weather in the region posed an additional challenge to the rescue operations.

The accident has triggered haunting memories of the Coromandel Express disaster near Bahanaga Bazar in Odisha a year ago, which killed nearly 300 people and injured over 1,000 others.

The 13174 Kanchanjungha Express was en route to Sealdah from Agartala when the collision occurred around 9 a.m., according to a railway official.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in a post on X, said: “Shocked to learn, just now, about a tragic train accident, in the 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,” she added.

Governor C. V. Ananda Bose and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee are scheduled to visit the train accident site later today to oversee relief operations and meet the injured, an official said.

“The governor and the chief minister will visit the accident spot in New Jalpaiguri to take stock of the relief operations,” the official told PTI.

Meanwhile, railway officials confirmed that the Kanchanjungha Express has resumed its journey to Kolkata with passengers in the unaffected coaches.

“The train departed from the accident site around 12:40 p.m. and is expected to reach Sealdah at 8 p.m.,” Kaushik Mitra, CPRO of Eastern Railway, told reporters.

Long-distance train services from north Bengal and the northeastern part of the country were disrupted due to the accident.

Eastern Railway officials in Kolkata reported that several long-distance trains were being rerouted through the Siliguri-Bagdogra-Aluabari zone instead of their usual route, as the tracks remained blocked at the accident site.

Read More: Horrific Train Accident: Kanchenjunga Express Hit by Goods Train in Rangapani

Among the diverted trains were the Guwahati-Saraighat Express, Guwahati-Bengaluru Express, NJP-Howrah Vande Bharat, Kamrup Express, and Uttarbanga Express, officials said.

State government officials announced that additional bus services were being introduced on an emergency basis to transport affected commuters.

Preliminary reports suggest that the loco pilot of the goods train may have overshot a signal. However, there has been no confirmation yet on whether there were issues with the signaling system or explanations on how the two trains ended up so close to each other on a single track.

BJP MP from Darjeeling, Raju Bista, was among the leaders who rushed to the scene to oversee rescue operations.

A passenger from Agartala, who was in coach number S6 of the Kanchanjungha Express, recounted feeling a sudden jerk as the compartment screeched to a halt. He also claimed that the relief and rescue operations were delayed.

“My wife, child, and I somehow managed to come out of the mangled coach. We are currently stranded… The rescue operations also started quite late,” the passenger told a television channel.

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Sk Sahiluddin
Sk Sahiluddinhttps://www.thestreetpress.in/
Sk Sahiluddin is a seasoned journalist and media professional with a passion for delivering accurate and impactful news coverage to a global audience. As the Editor of The Street Press India, he plays a pivotal role in shaping the editorial direction and ensuring the highest journalistic standards are upheld.
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