Bengal rail accident: Death toll rises to eight (Ld)


Kolkata, June 17 (IANS) The death toll in the Kanchanjungha Express-goods train collision has risen to eight, said officials on Monday.

According to the Additional Superintendent of Police, Darjeeling district, Abhishek Roy, the dead include the loco pilot of the goods train that had hit the Kanchanjungha Express.

Roy did not rule out the possibility of the death figure increasing as the rescue operations continued. So far the number of injured was over 30, he said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee decided to rush to the spot of the accident and personally supervise the rescue operations there.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a post on X said that Railways Minister Ashiwni Vaishnaw was on the way to the accident spot.

As the number of injured persons getting admitted to the hospitals in north Bengal started increasing, the state health department has enquired about the amount of blood in reserve there. The leaves of all medical staff and those associated with the emergency departments have been cancelled for an indefinite period.

Meanwhile, the North Bengal State Corporate Corporation (NBSTC) had decided to run special buses between Siliguri and Kolkata to help the other passengers travelling by the ill-fated train to Kolkata.

Following the accident at the spot, which is the principal railway connectivity route between West Bengal and northeast India, the Railways have diverted the routes of several long-distance trains, including Rajdhani Express and Vande Bharat Express. The Northeast Frontier Railways have announced several helpline numbers on this count.



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