Kanchanjunga Express Accident: Repair Work On, Train Services Hit On Affected Tracks, Death Toll Unclear | Latest

Kanchanjunga Express Accident: A goods train rammed into the stationary Sealdah-bound Kanchanjunga Express in West Bengal's Darjeeling district on Monday, killing several people.

View of the accident site a day after the collision between the Kanchanjunga Express and a goods train, near Rangapani railway station, Tuesday Photo: PTI

Some trains were cancelled, and some were diverted while restoration work was underway on affected tracks on Tuesday a day after nine people were killed and 41 injured in an accident involving a goods train and Sealdah-bound Kanchanjunga Express in West Bengal's Darjeeling district.

The goods train at around 9 am on Monday rammed into stationary Kanchanjunga Express near Rangapani station, 30 km from New Jalpaiguri station, causing four rear compartments of the passenger train to derail due to the impact, officials said.

Kanchanjunga Express Accident | Latest Updates

  • Kanchanjunga Express Accident: A goods train rammed into the stationary Sealdah-bound Kanchanjunga Express in West Bengal's Darjeeling district on Monday, killing several people. Among the deceased were the pilot, co-pilot of the goods train and the guard of the passenger train, as per railway officials.

  • Death Toll: Multiple reports and sources and even officials have given different fatality count, however, at least eight people have been confirmed to be dead. While news agency PTI reported that senior West Bengal Police officials put the casualty count at 15, news publications like NDTV and India Today put the death toll at nine.

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  • Cause Of Accident: Pointing towards a possible "human error" on part of loco pilot of the goods train, chairperson of the Railway Board Jaya Varma Sinha told the media in Delhi that the collision may have happened because a goods train disregarded the signal.

  • Signal Failure: Internal documents cited by news agency PTI suggested that the goods train was allowed to cross all red signals as the automatic signalling had "failed". The document, a written authority called TA 912, was issued to the driver of the goods train by the station master of Ranipatra, authorising him to cross all red signals, a railway source cited by PTI said. A railway source said the automatic signalling system between Ranipatra station and Chattar Hat junction was defective since 5.50 am.

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  • Goods Driver At Fault? Responding to claims that the goods train driver was permitted to pass red signals, a senior Railway Board official clarified on Monday, "The TA 912 authorisation was issued to the driver. As per protocol, when encountering a red signal on the automatic system, the loco pilot should proceed cautiously at speeds not exceeding 15 kmph under good visibility conditions and 10 kmph under poor visibility." According to the Board, the driver exceeded the permissible speed limit, leading to a collision with the Kanchanjunga Express between Ranipatra station and Chattar Hat junction.

  • Kanchanjunga Express Reaches Sealdah: The Kanchanjunga Express reached its destination in Kolkata's Sealdah at 3.16 am on Tuesday after undergoing restoration work. The mangled compartments of the train remain at the crash site, where repair work is underway and efforts continue to remove the remains.

  • Train Movement Hit: Following the Kanchanjunga Express accident several trains were cancelled while some were diverted on Tuesday, officials said. According to an official release from the Northeast Frontier Railways, five trains, including (15719) Katihar-Siliguri Intercity Express, (15720) Siliguri-Katihar Intercity Express, (12042) New Jalpaiguri-Howrah Shatabdi Express, (12041) Howrah-New Jalpaiguri Shatabdi Express and (15724) Siliguri-Jogbani Intercity Express have been cancelled for today.

Train number 12523 from New Jalpaiguri to New Delhi Superfast Express was rescheduled to leave at 12.00 hrs, as per the release by Northeast Frontier Railways Chief Public Relations officer Sabyasachi De.

As per the railways, train number 20504 from New Delhi--Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express, 13176 from Silchar--Sealedah Kanchanjungha Express, and 12523 from New Jalpaiguri--New Delhi Superfast Express were diverted.