Kanchanjunga Express train accident: President Murmu, Bengal CM Mamata reacted | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Kanchanjunga Express train accident: President Murmu, Bengal CM Mamata reacted

Jun 17, 2024 04:57 PM IST

A top railway official told HT that a preliminary investigation says the goods train overshot the signal and hit the Kanchanjunga Express from behind.

In a tragic incident, a goods train rammed into the Kanchanjunga Express from behind in West Bengal's New Jalpaiguri on Monday morning, killing about nine people and injuring over 60, news agency PTI reported.

Teams of NDRF and Police are present at Kanchenjunga Express train accident site in Ruidhasa, Darjeeling district of West Bengal.(Screengrab @ANI (X))
Teams of NDRF and Police are present at Kanchenjunga Express train accident site in Ruidhasa, Darjeeling district of West Bengal.(Screengrab @ANI (X))

A top railway official told HT that a preliminary investigation says the goods train overshot the signal and hit the Kanchanjunga Express from behind.

Also read | Kanchanjunga Express accident LIVE updates

Kanchanjunga Express train runs between Sealdah in West Bengal and Silchar in Assam. The train was coming from Tripura's Agartala and was on its way to Sealdah station in Kolkata when the goods train crashed into it around 8am.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on X that the accident was “saddening” and expressed his condolences to those who lost their loved ones. “Spoke to the officials and took stock of the situation. Rescue operations are underway to assist the affected. The Railways Minister Shri@AshwiniVaishnaw Ji is on the way to the site of the mishap as well,” he added.

Modi also announced an ex gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from the PMNRF to the next of kin of each deceased in the railway mishap in West Bengal. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000, the PMO posted on X.

Also read | Kanchanjunga Express accident: Goods train overshot signal | 10 points

Reacting to the accident, Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, in a post on social media platform X, said, “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.”

Vaishnaw left for Darjeeling to visit the train accident site and take stock of relief operations. He announced an enhanced ex-gratia of 10 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed. The railway minister also announced a sum of 2.5 lakh for those grievously injured and 50,000 for those with minor injuries, PTI reported.

Expressing shock at the incident, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee posted on X, “DM, SP, doctors, ambulances and disaster teams have been rushed to the site for rescue, recovery, medical assistance. Action on war footing initiated.”

Describing the incident as unfortunate, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma posted on X that the Assam government is monitoring the situation closely and will provide all necessary assistance as and when required.

Union minister of state for railways Ravneet Singh Bittu posted on X that the injured were being quickly moved to hospitals, and senior officials were on-site to supervise.

Expressing deep distress at the loss of lives, President Droupadi Murmu posted on X wishing speedy recovery of the injured and a success of relief and rescue operations.

Posting on X, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar extended his sincere condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.

While expressing distress over the accident, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge took a dig at the Narendra Modi government for the alleged state of the railways. “As a responsible Opposition, it is our bounden duty to underline how the Modi Govt has systematically converted the Rail Ministry into a platform of 'Camera-driven' self-promotion,” he posted on X.

Also read | ‘Criminal abandonment of Railways by Modi govt’: Congress on train accident in West Bengal

Former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi said its too early to talk about the casue of train accident and it requires an inquiry. "I am guessing that possibly this engine did not have 'Kavach' (an automatic train protection (ATP) system)...I've no doubt that the govt will take corrective action.," ANI reported.

Speaking to ANI, NF railway CPRO Sabyasachi Das said around 25 people are injured, and rescue operations are going on on a war footing.

Jaya Varma Sinha, chairman and CEO Railway Board, said the loco pilot, who disregarded the signal, and the guard have died. “Help desks established at all railway stations along Agartala- Sealdah route,” she added.

The railways posted helpline numbers for assistance and information regarding the derailment of Kanchanjunga Express in West Bengal.

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