5 Dead, 25 Injured After Goods Train Hits Kanchanjunga Express in Bengal

Several passengers have suffered injuries after an express train collided with a goods train in Darjeeling district of West Bengal this morning

5 Dead, 25 Injured After Goods Train Hits Kanchanjunga Express in Bengal

Five passengers have died and at least 25 others injured after an express train collided with a goods train in Darjeeling district of West Bengal this morning. Kanchanjunga Express was travelling from Silchar in Assam to Sealdah in Kolkata when a goods train hit it from behind near Rangapani station, close to New Jalpaiguri.

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Two coaches of Kanchanjunga Express have been derailed in the crash, it is learnt. More details about the accident are awaited.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said doctors and disaster response teams have been rushed to the spot. "Shocked to learn, just now, about a tragic train accident, in Phansidewa area of Darjeeling district. While details are awaited, Kanchenjunga Express has reportedly been hit by a goods train. DM, SP, doctors, ambulances and disaster teams have been rushed to the site for rescue, recovery, medical assistance. Action on war-footing initiated," she posted on X.

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The Kanchanjunga Express is a daily train that connects Bengal with the Northeastern cities of Silchar and Agartala. This route is in the Chicken's Neck corridor, which connects the Northeast with the rest of the country. The accident on this line can potentially impact the movement of several other trains.

The Kanchanjunga Express is frequently used by tourists to travel to Darjeeling. The accident comes at a time when Kolkata and neighbouring south Bengal are reeling under a sultry summer and many are travelling to the hill station for some relief.

According to the information so far, the goods train overshot the signal and crashed into the Kanchanjunga Express. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force and ambulances have been rushed to the spot. Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw is learnt to be monitoring the situation from the Railways war room in Delhi.  

One factor which managed to limit the human loss in the accident is the fact that the rear part of Kanchanjunga Express comprised of the cargo van and the guard's coach and the passenger compartments were further ahead.   

The Railways have released helpline numbers on which people could seek information about the situation. The numbers are 033-23508794 and 033-23833326 (Sealdah) and 03612731621, 03612731622 and 03612731623 at Guwahati.

Mr Vaishnaw has said in a post on X that rescue operations have started on a war footing. "Unfortunate accident in NFR zone. Rescue operations going on at war footing. Railways, NDRF and SDRF are working in close coordination. Injured are being shifted to the hospital. Senior officials have reached site," he said.