Train Accident in Bengal: Kanchanjunga Express Hit by Goods Train, 9 Dead, 25 Injured

Train Accident in Bengal

A tragic train accident in Bengal’s Siliguri resulted in the deaths of nine people including the loco pilot and injuries to nearly 25 others. The incident occurred on Monday when the Kanchanjunga Express, travelling from Agartala in Tripura to Sealdah station in Kolkata, was hit from behind by a goods train in the Rangapani region, close to New Jalpaiguri station.

In a tragic incident this morning, a collision between the Kanchanjunga Express and a goods train near Rangapani station in Darjeeling district of West Bengal has resulted in the loss of eight lives, including three Railway employees. Around 50 others have been injured, some grievously, highlighting the severity of the accident.

 

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Kanchanjunga Express Collision: Details

What Happened
A tragic train accident occurred in Siliguri, Bengal, where the Kanchanjunga Express collided with a goods train near Rangapani station. This incident resulted in the loss of nine lives, including three railway employees, and left about 25 others injured. The collision took place early morning on Monday, causing significant damage to the train coaches.
When It Happened
The accident happened around 9 am when the Kanchanjunga Express, traveling from Agartala to Kolkata, was hit from behind by the goods train close to New Jalpaiguri station in Darjeeling district.
How It Happened
The collision occurred because the goods train went past a signal, leading to it crashing into the Kanchanjunga Express. This oversight resulted in severe damage and casualties.
Immediate Response and Rescue Efforts
Emergency response teams, including doctors, disaster response units, and ambulances, were immediately deployed to the accident site. Rescue operations are being conducted urgently by the Railways, NDRF, and SDRF to aid injured passengers. Those injured have been swiftly transported to North Bengal Medical College for urgent medical care.
Reactions from Government and Public
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed shock and assured that all necessary personnel and resources were sent to assist in rescue and recovery efforts. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also extended condolences to the families of the deceased and closely monitored the situation. Compensation for the affected families has been announced by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Statements from Leaders
Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha expressed sorrow over the incident and highlighted ongoing rescue efforts. They assured that all possible measures are being taken to ensure the safety of passengers and provide necessary assistance.
Ongoing Rescue Efforts and Assistance
Despite heavy rain, rescue operations continue with urgency, and special helpdesks have been set up at key stations. Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) officials are actively providing updates and assistance to those affected by the collision.

Details of the Accident

The unfortunate event took place around 9 am, as confirmed by the divisional railway manager (DRM) of North Frontier Railway’s Katihar division. The Kanchanjunga Express, officially numbered 13174, was on its route to Kolkata when the goods train rammed into it, causing at least two compartments to derail.

The Kanchanjunga Express, en route from Agartala to Sealdah, Kolkata, was struck from behind by a goods train, derailing three of its coaches. Fortunately, the layout of the train, with passenger compartments situated ahead of the parcel and guard’s coaches, minimized the impact on passengers. This unfortunate incident occurred due to the goods train overshooting the signal, leading to the collision.

Abhishek Roy, Additional Superintendent of Police of Darjeeling, highlighted the severity of the situation. “Five passengers have died, 20-25 injured in the accident. The situation is serious. The incident occurred when a goods train rammed Kanchenjunga Express,” he said.

Immediate Response and Rescue Efforts

Following the collision, emergency response teams including doctors, disaster response units, and ambulances were swiftly deployed to the site. Rescue operations, described as being conducted on a “war footing,” were immediately initiated by the Railways, NDRF, and SDRF. Injured passengers were immediately transported to North Bengal Medical College for urgent medical treatment.

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Railway Board chairperson Jaya Verma Sinha assured the public that the rescue operations have been completed and that the unaffected front portion of Kanchanjunga Express will soon resume its journey, ensuring passengers reach their destinations without further delay.

 

Government and Public Reaction

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed shock and assured that all necessary personnel and resources were rushed to the site for rescue and recovery efforts. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also extended condolences to the bereaved families and monitored the situation closely. The Prime Minister’s Office announced compensation of ₹2 lakh each for the families of the deceased and ₹50,000 for the injured.

 

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Immediate Response and Rescue Operations

Following the accident, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee quickly expressed her concern. She announced that district magistrates, doctors, and ambulances had been dispatched to the accident site. “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 also conveyed her condolences. “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.

Railways Minister and Tripura CM Statements

Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw assured that rescue operations were being conducted on a 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.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha also expressed his sorrow over the incident. “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,” he tweeted.

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Ongoing Rescue Efforts and Assistance

The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has mobilized an emergency medical team to the accident site. Despite heavy rain, rescue operations are proceeding with urgency. In an effort to assist those affected, special helpdesks have been set up at Sealdah and Naihati stations. These helpdesks can be contacted at the following numbers: 033-23508794 and 033-23833326.

“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,” NFR officials stated.

 

Future Implications

The accident, occurring in the critical Chicken’s Neck corridor linking the Northeast with the rest of India, may affect the movement of other trains in the region. The Kanchanjunga Express is vital for both commuters and tourists, especially during the summer months when many seek relief in Darjeeling.

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This tragic accident has cast a shadow over the journey of many passengers, leaving families in grief and a community in shock. The swift response from local authorities, railway officials, and government leaders underscores the seriousness of the situation and the commitment to rescue and recovery efforts. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the need for stringent safety measures and constant vigilance in railway operations to prevent such heart-wrenching occurrences in the future.

 

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