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Tragic Train Accident Claims Nine Lives in West Bengal’s Darjeeling District

By Avijit Biswas

Bhagalpur: A major train accident this morning between Rangapani and Chatterhat stations, under Katihar division of North Frontier Railway, resulted in the tragic deaths of seven railway passengers and two train staff/crew members.

The accident occurred when a goods train carrying containers collided with the rear of the 13174 Down Agartala-Sealdah Kanchanjungha Express. This collision caused the derailment of four coaches of the Kanchanjungha Express and five wagons of the goods train.

The site of the accident in Darjeeling district, West Bengal, is approximately ten kilometers from New Jalpaiguri station. According to a railway press note, nine passengers sustained grievous injuries, while 32 others sustained minor injuries.

The ill-fated Kanchanjungha Express, which departed from Agartala on June 16 en route to Sealdah, met with the accident around 8:55 AM today. Railway officials reported that the accident occurred because the goods train carrying containers overshot a signal and collided with the Kanchanjungha Express from behind.

The damaged coaches of the passenger train included the guard coach and the parcel van. Senior zonal and divisional railway officials immediately initiated relief and rescue operations following the accident.

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw visited the accident site and met with injured passengers who were admitted to North Bengal Medical College Hospital in Siliguri for treatment. The Kanchanjungha Express resumed its journey to its destination after the damaged coaches were detached.

Meanwhile, the railway authorities announced compensation: Rs 10 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased, Rs 2 lakh for passengers with grievous injuries, and Rs 50,000 for passengers with minor injuries in the accident.

Normal train operations were disrupted in the section due to the accident. The following trains were diverted via alternate routes including New Jalpaiguri, Silguri Junction, Bagdogra, and Aluabari Road:

  1. 19602 New Jalpaiguri-Udaipur City Weekly Express of 17.06.24
  2. 20503 Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani Express of 16.06.24
  3. 12423 Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani Express of 16.06.24
  4. 0166 Agartala-Rani Kamalapati Special Train of 16.06.24
  5. 12377 Sealdah-New Alipurduar Padatik Express of 16.06.24
  6. 06105 Nagercoil Junction – Dibrugarh Special of 14.06.24
  7. 20506 New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express of 16.06.24
  8. 12424 New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express of 16.06.24
  9. 22301 Howrah-New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat Express of 17.06.24
  10. 12346 Guwahati-Howrah Saraighat Express of 17.06.24
  11. 12505 Kamakhya-Anand Vihar North East Express of 17.06.24
  12. 12510 Guwahati-Bengaluru Express of 17.06.24
  13. 22302 New Jalpaiguri-Howrah Vande Bharat Express of 17.06.24
  14. 15620 Kamakhya-Gaya Express of 17.06.24
  15. 15962 Dibrugarh-Howrah Kamrup Express of 17.06.24
  16. 15636 Guwahati-Okha Express of 17.06.24
  17. 15930 New Tinsukia-Tambaram Express of 17.06.24
  18. 13148 Bamanhat-Sealdah Uttar Banga Express of 17.06.24
  19. 22504 Dibrugarh-Kanyakumari Express of 17.06.24
  20. 13142 New Alipurduar-Sealdah Teesta Torsa Express of 17.06.24
  21. 12344 Haldibari-Sealdah Darjeeling Mail of 17.06.24
  22. 12378 New Alipurduar-Sealdah Padatik Express of 17.06.24
  23. 15651 Guwahati-Jammu Tawi Lohit Express of 17.06.24
  24. 15658 Kamakhya-Delhi Brahmaputra Mail of 17.06.24

Efforts are underway to restore normal train operations in the section at the earliest. For passenger convenience, help booths have been set up and helpline numbers have been activated by Eastern Railway at various stations:

Sealdah: 033-23508794 (DOT), 033-23833326 (Auto Telephone)

Howrah: 033-26413660 (Help Desk), 033-26402242, 033-26402243 (Enquiry)

Malda Town: 03512-266000 (BSNL), 9046002982

New Farakka: 7595046555

Kolkata Station: 033-25550119

 

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