Bengal train mishap: 9 dead as Kanchanjunga Express rams into goods train

Prima facie, the collision is suspected to have caused due to the goods train overshooting the signal (ignoring the red light) and hitting the Express train from behind.
Rescue work underway after a collision between the Kanchanjungha Express and a goods train, near Rangapani railway station.
Rescue work underway after a collision between the Kanchanjungha Express and a goods train, near Rangapani railway station.(Photo | PTI)

KOLKATA: At least nine people died, and many sustained injuries after the Sealdah-bound 13174 Kanchanjunga Express collided with a goods train on Monday morning near New Jalpaiguri.

The incident occurred around 9 am near Rangapani, close to the New Jalpaiguri station. The Kanchanjunga Express was en route from Agartala to Sealdah when the accident took place.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the Express train collided with goods train which resulted in such an accident .

The rescue teams are adopting the manual process of bringing the mangled compartments back into position to locate more trapped passengers.

“We are avoiding the use of gas cutters right now as we fear that more people might be trapped inside the mangled compartments. Use of gas cutters might endanger their lives. Since we are still adopting the manual process, the rescue process is slow. Rainfall is adding further difficulty,” said an official of the state Disaster Management Department, present at the spot.

Rescue work underway after a collision between the Kanchanjungha Express and a goods train, near Rangapani railway station.
Kanchanjungha Express accident: Signal had been defective since 5.50 am, says a railway source

To assist stranded passengers, Partha Pratim Roy, chairman of the North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC), said that "10 buses of North Bengal Rashtriya Paribahan Nigam have left for the accident site to rescue stranded passengers of the Sealdah-bound Kanchanjunga Express. Also, additional bus services from Siliguri to Kolkata from Siliguri Tenzing Norgay bus terminus will be operational from this afternoon."

Railway authorities have initiated rescue operations, and disaster response teams, including the NDRF and a divisional team with 15 ambulances, are providing medical assistance and support to the affected passengers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the train accident near New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. In a post on X, the prime minister said the "railway accident in West Bengal is saddening. Condolences to those who lost their loved ones".

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her shock and concern over the incident.

In a post on X, she said, “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..”

She further said, "DM, SP, doctors, ambulances and disaster teams have been rushed to the site for rescue," she said.

Union rail minister Ashwini Vaishnaw also commented on the incident, saying, "Unfortunate accident in NFR zone. Rescue operations going on at war footing. Railways, NDRF, and SDRF are working in close coordination. Injured are being shifted to the hospital. Senior officials have reached the site."

Meanwhile, help desks have been set up to assist concerned individuals.

List of helpline numbers:

Sealdah help desk: 033-23508794

GHY Station

03612731621, 03612731622, 03612731623

LMG helpline no.

03674263958, 03674263831, 03674263120, 03674263126, 03674263858

Help Desk number at Sealdah in connection with Kanchanjunga train collision:-

033-23508794, 033-23833326

Help line Number at Katihar

09002041952, 9771441956

KIR station

6287801805

'Deeply distressing': President Murmu on loss of lives in West Bengal train accident

President Droupadi Murmu on Monday condoled the loss of lives in a train accident in West Bengal and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.

"The news of the loss of lives due to a train accident in Darjeeling, West Bengal 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," Murmu said in a post on X.

(With inputs from PTI)

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