Kanchanjunga Express accident: Lucky to be alive, say passengers on reaching Kolkata | Kolkata - Hindustan Times
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Kanchanjunga Express accident: Lucky to be alive, say passengers on reaching Kolkata

Jun 18, 2024 10:01 AM IST

At 8:55am on Monday, a goods train rammed into the rear-end of Sealdah-bound Kanchanjunga Express near Rangapani, around 10km south of New Jalpaiguri

The Kanchanjunga Express, which was hit by a goods train near New Jalpaiguri in north Bengal killing nine people, reached Sealdah in Kolkata around 3:15am on Tuesday.

A cargo train rammed into Kanchanjunga Express, a passenger train, near New Jalpaiguri station. (AP photo)
A cargo train rammed into Kanchanjunga Express, a passenger train, near New Jalpaiguri station. (AP photo)

Narrating her ordeal, a woman passenger called her experience a nightmare.

“It is the mercy of God that I am alive today and talking to you. I can’t narrate in words what we went through. There was a huge jerk and I fell from the upper-tier. It was a nightmare,” she told media persons.

“I have to frequently travel in trains for my business in north Bengal. But now I am really scared. I think I got a fresh lease of life,” a passenger of B2 coach said.

At 8:55am on Monday, a goods train rammed into the rear-end of Sealdah-bound Kanchanjunga Express near Rangapani, around 10km south of New Jalpaiguri (NJP).

Also Read: Bengal train accident: Teams faced desperate scramble to rescue trapped victims

While four coaches of the Kanchanjunga Express, including a general compartment, two parcel coaches and the guard van were affected, five coaches of the goods train were derailed.

The Kanchanjunga Express, with its 19 unaffected coaches, resumed its journey towards Kolkata with 1,293 passengers around 12noon on Monday.

Meanwhile, railway officials said that while service has already resumed on the up line, the down line has also been cleared.

“While the upline was cleared by around 5:40pm on Tuesday and the first goods train passed around 8pm, the down line was cleared at around 7:30am on Tuesday,” said Sabyasachi De, chief public relations officer of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR).

Several trains, including the Rajdhani Express and Vande Bharat Express, had to be diverted through Bagdogra and Aluabari on Monday as coaches remained strewn on the tracks at the accident site.

The death toll in the train accident near New Jalpaiguri in north Bengal remained nine but hospital authorities said they are ascertaining the exact number.

While six bodies were identified and have already been handed over to the family members, three could not be identified.

Nine persons have died till Monday evening. One of the bodies had a leg missing and there was a separate amputated leg. We are not sure whether the leg belongs to the same person, or it is that of another person,” said a senior doctor of North Bengal Medial College and Hospital.

While Jaya Verma Sinha, chairperson of the Railway Board had said on Monday that prima facie the driver of the goods train had disregarded the signal, railway officials said that a combination of a signalling fault on the tracks before the New Jalpaiguri station and human error by the driver of the freight train are likely to have led to a deadly collision.

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