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Sunday, July 21, 2024

West Bengal train accident: Goods train`s loco pilot "disregarded signal", says

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The loco pilot of the goods train that collided with the Kanchanjunga Express passenger train in Darjeeling, West Bengal, disobeyed the signal, causing the accident on Monday morning that claimed the lives of at least eight people, including the pilot, a railway top official told ANI.

“The accident happened today morning. Kanchanjunga Express was travelling from Agartala to Sealdah. The train was hit in the rear end by a goods train which disregarded the signal,” Jaya Varma Sinha Chairman & CEO Railway Board told ANI.

She said that there was extensive damage to the guard`s compartment located at the back of the passenger train. According to the official, there were two parcel wagons positioned between the guard`s rearmost coach and a general compartment, which help to reduce passenger casualties.

Apart from the loco pilot of the goods train, the guard of the passenger train was also killed in this morning`s collision, the Railway Board CEO said.

“Rescue operation have been completed. The driver (Loco pilot) who disregarded the signal has died and also the guard of Kanchanjunga Express has lost his life. Help desks have been established at all railway stations along the Agartala- Sealdah route, ” said Sinha.

NorthEast Frontier Railway CPRO Sabyasachi De said that the officials have information of eight deaths in the incident, reported ANI.

“Around 25 people have been injured and they have been shifted to the nearby hospital. They are non-fatal injuries. The rescue operation is going on a war footing. We are trying to finish the rescue operation as soon as possible. Senior officials have already reached the site. According to the preliminary information Kanchanjunga was hit from the rear by a goods train…We have information of 8 deaths,” the CPRO De told ANI. Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has left for Darjeeling to visit the accident site.

As per reports from ANI, the accident took place at Ruidhasa near Rangapani station in the Katihar Railway Division ahead of New Jalpaiguri Junction at around 8:45 am today. The area falls in the Siliguri subdivision of Darjeeling district.

Kanchanjungha Express which runs between Silchar in Assam to Sealdah in Kolkata was on its way from Agartala in Tripura to Sealdah when the goods train hit it from behind, according to Sabyasachi De, Chief Public Relations Officer – Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR).

Visuals from the site showed one of the bogies suspended in mid-air.

Teams from the Army, Police, and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) reportedly participated in the rescue operation.


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