Kanchanjunga Express Reaches Kolkata After Deadly Collision; Affected Lines Restored, Investigation Underway

The remaining 1,293 passengers continued their journey towards Kolkata.

by Nikitha Sebastian
Kanchanjunga Express Reaches Kolkata After Deadly Collision; Affected Lines Restored, Investigation Underway

The Kanchanjunga Express, a passenger train travelling from Silchar in Assam to Sealdah in Kolkata, arrived at its destination in the early hours of Tuesday, bearing the physical and emotional scars of a deadly accident the previous day.

Kanchanjunga Express Reaches Kolkata

The horrific incident unfolded near Rangapani station in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district on Monday morning. A goods train rammed into the rear of the Kanchanjunga Express around 8:55 am, approximately 10km south of New Jalpaiguri. The impact claimed nine lives and left over 25 passengers injured. The collision caused significant damage, derailing five carriages on the goods train and four on the Kanchanjunga Express. These included a general compartment, two parcel coaches, and the guard’s van.

Despite the wreckage, engineers managed to separate the entangled trains and get the Kanchanjunga Express, with its remaining 19 coaches, back on track by midday Monday. The remaining 1,293 passengers continued their journey towards Kolkata.

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Investigation Underway

Initially, railway officials blamed the accident solely on the goods train driver for disregarding a signal. However, further investigation revealed a more complex picture. A faulty signal system on the tracks leading to New Jalpaiguri station, coupled with potential human error by the freight train driver, is now suspected to be the cause of the tragedy.

The accident caused significant disruption to railway services in the region. The affected line remained closed for nearly 24 hours, forcing the diversion of several express trains, including the prestigious Rajdhani and Vande Bharat Expresses, through alternate routes on Monday.

By Tuesday evening, service on the line had resumed after a lengthy restoration effort. As the Kanchanjunga Express pulled into Sealdah station in Kolkata at around 3:15 am, railway officials made elaborate arrangements to receive the passengers. Medical teams, ambulances, food supplies, and emergency beds were readily available to assist those who needed medical attention or onward travel arrangements.

Also Read: Kanchanjungha Express Collides With Goods Train In The Darjeeling District; 5 Dead, 25 Injured

The accident has sparked outrage and political accusations. As per a statement given to Times Of india, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee slammed the central government, accusing them of neglecting railway safety and prioritising public relations stunts like the Vande Bharat trains. She highlighted the importance of proper maintenance and investment in railway infrastructure. Speaking to ANI, Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim echoed these concerns, expressing fears that the central government’s alleged plans to privatise the railways could further compromise safety standards.

Cover Image Courtesy: @AKtweets01/X (Formerly, Twitter)

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