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Kanchanjungha Express accident: Rail services resume after 12 hours, first video emerges | WATCH

The collision was due to an automatic signaling failure, allowing the goods train to pass red signals. Rail services resumed after 12 hours of effort to clear the tracks. Prime Minister Modi expressed condolences and announced compensation for the victims. An investigation into the accident is ongoing.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 Kolkata Updated on: June 18, 2024 7:26 IST
Kanchanjungha Express accident
Image Source : INDIA TV Kanchanjungha Express accident: Rail services resume after 12 hours; the first video emerges.

A tragic train accident occurred near Ranipatra railway station in West Bengal on Monday. A severe collision took place between the Kanchanjunga Express and a goods train between Chattar Hat Junction and Ranipatra station. The incident resulted in the death of 9 people and left over two dozen injured. The collision was so intense that train coaches were stacked on top of each other. According to internal railway documents, the goods train that collided from behind had been allowed to pass all red signals due to an automatic signalling failure.

Rail services resume after 12 hours

Following the incident, administration and railway teams arrived at the scene and began removing the train bogies. The accident had disrupted train services on this route. After several hours of effort, the derailed train coaches were cleared from the tracks. Railway services have now resumed after approximately 12 hours of war footing work. The first goods train was dispatched from the railway track about 12 hours after the accident, and the video of this has now emerged.

PM Modi expresses condolences

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences on Monday for the deaths caused by the train accident in West Bengal. He stated that he had spoken with officials to assess the situation and provided necessary directions. The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) also announced ex-gratia compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF). On the social media platform 'X', Modi posted, "The train accident in West Bengal is deeply saddening. Condolences to those who lost their loved ones. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured."

Human error suspected

Jaya Varma Sinha, chairperson of the Railway Board, suggested that human error might have caused the collision, as the goods train disregarded the signal. She admitted that the 'Kavach' anti-train collision system was not operational on the Guwahati-Delhi route where the accident occurred. Internal documents revealed that the goods train was allowed to pass all red signals due to a failure in the automatic signalling system. The driver was issued a TA 912 authorising him to cross red signals, which he reportedly did at excessive speeds, leading to the collision.

Eyewitness accounts

Passengers on the Kanchanjunga Express recounted the terrifying moment of impact. One passenger described a sudden stop accompanied by a loud sound, while another, a pregnant woman, likened the impact to an earthquake. A family from Agartala managed to escape their mangled coach and expressed frustration over delayed rescue operations.

Political reactions and safety concerns

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticised the railways, alleging negligence and prioritisation of fare increases over passenger safety. Governor CV Ananda Bose, who visited the accident site and the hospital, emphasised the need to focus on victim care rather than assigning blame.

Restoration efforts ongoing

Railway officials confirmed that unaffected coaches of the Kanchanjunga Express continued their journey to Kolkata, with the train expected to arrive around midnight. The CRS investigation aims to determine the exact cause and prevent similar incidents in the future.

Also read | Kanchanjunga Express accident: 9 dead, Ashwini Vaishnaw meets injured at hospital; rescue ops over

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