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Kanchanjungha Express accident: Five killed, 30 hurt; rescue ops hit by rains

Author : IANS

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Kolkata, June 17 (IANS) Five people were killed and 30 injured in the Kanchanjungha Express accident that took place on Monday.

According to the Additional SP of Darjeeling District, Abhishek Roy, so far five people have been reportedly killed in the accident and 25 to 30 have been injured.

Different teams attached to the state government and the Indian Railways started rescue operations at the site between New Jalpaiguri and Rangapani station where two compartments of the Kanchanjungha Express got derailed after being hit by a goods train.

To make things more difficult, the rescue operations are being impacted by rains in the region.

However, the rescue teams are being assisted by the local residents.

Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has issued a statement claiming that the senior officials of the Railways have reached the spot to supervise the search and rescue operations.

“Unfortunate accident in the 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,” read the statement issued by Vaishnaw.

The rescue teams are adopting the manual process of bringing the affected compartments back into position to locate more trapped passengers.

“We are avoiding the use of gas cutters right now as we fear that more people might be trapped inside the affected compartments. Use of gas cutters might endanger their lives. Since we are still adopting the manual process, the rescue process is slow. Rainfall is adding further difficulty,” said an official of the state Disaster Management Department, present at the spot.

The local people told the media that they have seen bodies of at least five people being brought out of the compartments.

As per information available so far, the number of injured passengers who have been rescued from the affected compartments stands at 25.

The injured persons have been rushed to the North Bengal Medical College & Hospital at Siliguri.

Rescue team officials said that there are apprehensions that the death and injury figures might increase further as the rescue operations continue, since they are to ascertain how many persons are still trapped within the affected compartments.

The reason for the accident, is yet to surface. As per the latest information available Ashwini Vaishnaw has decided to reach the site of the accident.

Some of the passengers travelling by Kanchanjungha Express said that contrary to information that there was just one collision, they heard the sound of at least three to four collisions.

--IANS

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