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June 17, 2024

Tragic Train Collision in West Bengal: Kanchanjunga Express Accident Claims 15 Lives, Dozens Injured

In a heart-wrenching incident, at least 15 people lost their lives and around 60 sustained injuries when the Sealdah-bound Kanchanjunga Express collided with a goods train in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district on Monday. The collision led to the derailment of three compartments of the passenger train, causing a major disruption and triggering a massive rescue operation.

The accident occurred around 9 am when a locomotive of the goods train, en route from Agartala to Kolkata, rammed into the Kanchanjunga Express from the rear. The impact was devastating, causing several carriages to topple and one to precariously hang in mid-air. Distressing images from the scene showed the severity of the collision, with the goods train’s wagon toppled on the tracks and the passenger train’s compartments derailed and mangled.

Rescue teams, including local authorities, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), were swiftly mobilized to the site to manage the aftermath and assist those trapped inside the wrecked carriages. The rescue operation is ongoing, with officials working tirelessly to locate and save any remaining passengers.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her profound shock and sorrow over the tragedy. She announced that emergency services, including district magistrates, superintendents of police, doctors, ambulances, and disaster response teams, were dispatched immediately to the site. “While details are awaited… DM, SP, doctors, ambulances, and disaster teams have been rushed to the site,” she stated on social media platform ‘X’, emphasizing that efforts are being made on a war footing.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Droupadi Murmu also conveyed their condolences to the families of the victims. Prime Minister Modi mentioned that he had been in contact with officials and that Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw was on his way to West Bengal to assess the situation. The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) announced compensation of Rs 200,000 for the families of each deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured.

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw expressed deep regret over the incident and highlighted that the injured were being transported to nearby hospitals for immediate medical care. “Unfortunate accident in North Frontier Railway zone… Railways, NDRF, and SDRF are working in close coordination. Senior officials have reached the site,” he shared on ‘X’.

The tragic accident has once again brought to the forefront the issues surrounding railway safety and infrastructure in India. With a network as vast and as heavily used as the Indian Railways, ensuring the safety and security of passengers is paramount. This incident calls for a renewed focus on stringent safety measures, regular maintenance, and upgrading of railway systems to prevent such catastrophes in the future.

As rescue operations continue and the investigation into the cause of the collision proceeds, the nation mourns the loss of lives and prays for the speedy recovery of the injured. The tragic event is a stark reminder of the unpredictability of life and the urgent need for robust safety protocols in public transportation systems

Read more latest news on R9 News

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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