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Kanchanjungha Express accident: How did train disaster happen in West Bengal's New Jalpaiguri? Details

The popular tourist route, crucially linking the Northeast to the rest of India, faces risks due to its busy tracks and automatic signaling. Rescue efforts are underway with coordinated support from Railways, NDRF, and SDRF teams, as announced by Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 Kolkata Updated on: June 17, 2024 12:46 IST
Kanchanjungha Express
Image Source : INDIA TV Kolkata: Locals gather after the Kanchanjungha Express collided with a goods train near New Jalpaiguri railway station.

Early this morning, a goods train in West Bengal's Darjeeling district overshot a signal, resulting in a devastating collision with the Kolkata-bound Kanchanjungha Express. The tragic incident near Rangapani station, close to New Jalpaiguri, claimed the lives of at least eight people and left around two dozen others injured. The express train, en route from Silchar, Assam, to Sealdah, Kolkata, had its last three coaches derailed due to the impact, affecting many more carriages.

Chairman of the Railway Board, Jaya Varma Sinha, stated, "Driver and assistant driver of the goods train and guard of Kanchenjunga Express train have died in the incident."


Popular tourist routes affected

Kanchanjunga Express, frequently used by tourists heading to Darjeeling, traverses the Chicken's Corridor, a crucial link between the Northeast and the rest of the country. The route, marked by automatic signals and busy parallel lines, increases the risk of such accidents.

Rescue operations underway

Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw confirmed ongoing rescue efforts, describing the incident as unfortunate and pledging swift action. A dedicated war room in Delhi has been established to coordinate rescue operations, with teams from Railways, NDRF, and SDRF working in tandem.

Immediate response by state authorities

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed shock over the incident and announced the rapid deployment of DMs, SPs, doctors, ambulances, and disaster response teams to the scene. She underscored the urgency of rescue, recovery, and medical assistance.

Efforts to minimise impact

The Kanchanjungha Express, equipped with two parcel vans and a guard coach at the rear, likely mitigated the collision's severity. The Railway continues its efforts to upgrade rolling stock, although the express still operates with older coaches from the Integral Coach Factory.

Also read | West Bengal: Eight dead after freight train collides with Kanchanjungha Express in Siliguri, CM reacts


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