• Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

9 Dead, 41 Injured After Goods Train Hits Sealdah bound Kanchanjunga Express In West Bengal

Train no. 13174 Down Agartala – Sealdah Kanchanjungha Express on 17th June, 2024 faced a rear end collision by a Goods train carrying containers between Rangapani and Chatterhat section under the Katihar division of N.F. Railway at around 08:55 hrs. The location is about 10 km from New Jalpaiguri station.

On receiving the information, Accident Relief Medical team along with Men and machinery immediately reached the accident site within short span of time to rescue and aid the injured passengers. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and General Manager of NFR Chetan Kr. Shrivastava with other senior officials immediately rushed to reach the accident site. On arriving Siliguri,Railway Minister immediately rushed to the hospital to meet the injured patients. He personally interacted with the injured ones and also visited the accident site to take stock of the rescue and restoration operation.
As a result of the accident, 4 coaches from rear side of the Kanchanjungha Express and 5 wagons of the container carrying train got derailed blocking the train movements of both Up and Down lines. However, debris on the Up Line was cleared at 17:40 hrs. Work for speedy restoration of the Down Line is also in progress.

About 9 people died (7 passengers and 2 railway staffs), 9 people were grievously injured and nearly 32 people were left with minor/normal injuries as a result of the accident. All the injured persons are being provided adequate medical help.

The unaffected portion of the Kanchanjunga Express has left from the accident site at 12:00 for its onward journey. Passenger rescue operation was completed. Adequate food packets and drinking water bottles were provided by the railway side to the stranded passengers. Help-Line numbers were made operational at all important stations. Indian Railways has already announced ex-gratia of Rs. 10 lakhs to the next of kin of each deceased, Rs. 2, 50,000/- for who sustained grievous injury and Rs. 50,000/- to each who sustained minor injury.

As a result of the incident, several trains were diverted from and to New Jalpaiguri railway station via Siliguri Juction, Bagdogra & Aluabari Road route.

Railway Board chairperson Jaya Verma Sinha told the media that the accident took place around 9 am. “The rescue work is complete. The injured have been shifted to the North Bengal medical college and they are being provided the best possible treatment,” she said.

The unaffected front portion of Kanchenjunga Express, she said, will resume its onward journey soon so that the passengers can reach their destination.

Speaking to the media, Mr. Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Minister of Railway assured a thorough probe into what led to the accident. “Rescue operation is over, our focus in now on restoration. This is not the time for politics,” he said, responding to questions on the Opposition’s criticism of the Railways in the wake of the crash.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her shock over the tragic accident in the Phansidewa area of Darjeeling district. She stated that the Kanchenjunga Express had been hit by a freight train and detailed teams, including the District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police, doctors, ambulances, and disaster response teams, have been dispatched for rescue and medical assistance. Efforts are underway on a war footing to address the situation.

President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have expressed their condolences for the families of the victims.

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

033-23508794
033-23833326

Helpline No. Ghy Station
03612731621
03612731622
03612731623

Helpline No of Lumding Station:

03674263958
03674263831
03674263120
03674263126
03674263858

 

(With inputs from the CPRO, North East Frontier Railway Mr. Sabhyasachi De)

 

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