9 dead as goods train hits Kanchanjunga Express in Bengal, coach hangs in air

Five people died and 30 others were injured after a Kanchanjunga Express was hit by a goods train from behind in Bengal's Siliguri. The impact of the collision caused at least two coaches to derail, with one of them suspending in the air as a result.
9 dead as goods train hits Kanchanjunga Express in Bengal, coach hangs in air
Pic: NDTV

Five people died and 30 others were injured after a Kanchanjunga Express derailed on Monday after being hit by a goods train in Bengal's Siliguru. The train was en route to the Sealdah station in Kolkata from Tripura's Agartala when the accident took place.

At least two compartments of the Kanchanjunga Express derailed as a result of the massive collision, with one of the coaches suspended in the air as seen in the visuals. The accident happened in Siliguri's Rangapani region, nearly seven kilometres from North Bengal's New Jalpaiguri station.

Divisional railway manager (DRM) of North Frontier Railway's Katihar division told news agency PTI that the 13174 Kanchanjunga Express met with the accident at about 9 am.

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9 dead as goods train hits Kanchanjunga Express in Bengal, coach hangs in air

Abhishek Roy, Additional Superintendent of Police of Darjeeling, said, "The incident occurred when a goods train rammed Kanchenjunga Express."

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed concern over the accident, saying the district magistrate, doctors and ambulances have been rushed to the spot.

"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, medical assistance. Action on war-footing initiated," she tweeted.

President Droupadi Murmu, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha also condoled the loss of lives in the accident and wished a speedy recovery of the injured passengers.

"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," the President tweeted.

Ashwini Vaishnaw said the rescue efforts are underway on "war footing". "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 site," he tweeted.

The Union Minister has also left for the accident site.

"In a tragic incident I came to know about Agartala-Sealdah bound Kanchenjunga Express having met with an accident near New Jalpaiguri. Three coaches were particularly damaged in this collision with the freight car. Rescue operations have already started. The state government is in touch with the railway authorities to make all efforts for the rescue and safety of the passengers. I wish the injured in this accident a speedy recovery," Manik Saha tweeted.

The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) told India Today that an emergency medical team has been rushed to the accident scene and rescue operations are underway amid heavy rain.

A special helpdesk has also been set up at the Sealdah station in connection with the matter. Those seeking information or assistance regarding the accident can contact the helpline numbers - 033-23508794 and 033-23833326.

An additional helpdesk is being set up at Naihati station to provide further assistance to passengers and their families.

"Sealdah division is sincerely working to address the situation and provide assistance to those affected by the collision. We will continue to provide updates from time to time," officials said.

Source: India Today

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