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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Kanchenjungha train crash: Meshes hide rail wreckage from onlookers

Our Correspondent Siliguri Published 21.06.24, 06:40 AM
GRP jawans walk near the accident site on Thursday

GRP jawans walk near the accident site on Thursday Picture by Passang Yolmo

The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has engaged workers at the accident site near the Rangapani station of Jalpaiguri district to place green-coloured meshes to cover the wreckage while the final repair of the tracks is in progress.

Mangled coaches and other debris were still lying at the site on Thursday when the workers placed the meshes.

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“It will discourage curious onlookers from swarming the site. Also, trains are running along the route and passengers are standing near the doors to catch a glimpse of the wreckage. This is risky. That is why the wreckage has been covered,” said a source in the NFR.

After the mishap on Monday, railways restored train movement along the up track (the second track) around 5.40pm on the same day. Repairs were carried out throughout the night and on Tuesday morning, the down track where the accident had occurred was restored for movement of trains.

“However, some final repairs have to be done as trains are moving at a lower speed along the stretch. That work is going on at the site in an intermittent manner and trains are passing through the area with utmost caution,” the source added.

Personnel of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) have been posted at the site. Sources said they are using carbolic acid to keep themselves safe.

“It is raining these days and snakes can be seen near the site. That is why, necessary precautions are being taken,” said a source.

In the ADRM’s office in New Jalpaiguri, the hearing of railway staff continued for the second day today. A number of employees appeared before the chief commissioner of railway safety (CCRS) and got their statements recorded.

“Their statements, along with documentary evidence would be corroborated. The inquiry is likely to continue for some more time as various information has to be gathered,” said Surendra Kumar, the divisional railway manager of the Katihar division of the NFR.

The railway authorities are yet to talk to Manu Kumar, the assistant loco pilot of the goods train, who is under treatment.

“Our doctors will speak with doctors who are treating him to know his condition. Once he recovers, we will talk to him. His statement is vital as the loco pilot of the goods train has died in the accident,” said an official.

New trains

The NFR has decided to start two pairs of Garib Rath Express from July to connect Calcutta with the Northeast.

While a pair will run between Agartala and Kolkata stations, the other will connect Kolkata station with Guwahati.

Both would be weekly trains and will stop at different stations in Bengal and the Northeast.

“There will be 16 AC-III economy coaches in each train,” said an official.

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