• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Nine killed, dozens injured in train crash in India

The goods train hit the Kanchanjunga Express, which was on its way to Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, from the northeastern state of Agartala.

Rescue workers along with people gather at the site of the collision . (Photo: Reuters)

By: Vivek Mishra

A freight train collided with a stationary passenger train in India’s West Bengal state on Monday, resulting in at least nine deaths and dozens of injuries, according to police. Railway authorities attributed the accident to driver error.

Media footage showed the aftermath of the collision, with containers from the freight train scattered nearby and one carriage almost vertical. This incident follows a major rail crash in India caused by a signaling error just over a year ago.

The freight train struck the Kanchanjunga Express, which was traveling from Tripura to Kolkata, causing three carriages of the passenger train to derail.

Rescuers used iron rods and ropes to free a carriage of the passenger train that had been lifted onto the roof of the freight train by the impact. The fatalities included the driver of the freight train and a guard on the passenger train, according to Jaya Varma Sinha, head of the railway board.

The accident occurred after the freight train driver ignored a signal, Sinha said. She also stated that rescue operations had been completed and efforts to restore traffic were underway, with the damage being less severe than initially feared.

“The guard’s compartment in the passenger train was badly damaged,” Sinha added. “There were two parcel vans attached ahead of it which reduced the extent of damage to passengers.”

Local residents reported hearing a loud crash and seeing the wreckage when they went to investigate, as told to the ANI news agency.

Narendra Modi expressed condolences and announced that railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw was en route to the site.

A year ago, around 288 people died in Odisha, India’s worst rail crash in over two decades, due to a signal failure. Opposition parties have criticised Modi’s government over rail safety issues.

“The increase in railway accidents in the last 10 years is a direct result of the mismanagement and negligence of the Modi government, which results in loss of lives and property of passengers on a daily basis,” said Rahul Gandhi, Congress party leader, in a post on X.

(Reuters)

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