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Bengal train accident: Death toll rises to 9, 41 injured (Ld)

Author : IANS

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Kolkata, June 17 (IANS) The death toll in the train accident in West Bengal's Darjeeling district where a goods train hit the Sealdah-bound Kanchanjunga Express on Monday morning has risen to nine, officials said.

The took place close to the Rangapani railway station near New Jalpaiguri, on the 'Chicken's Neck' corridor that connects the Northeast with the rest of the country.

The deceased include the loco-pilot of the goods train and the guard of the Kanchenjunga Express. The assistant loco-pilot of the goods train was severely injured.

According to officials of the state administration, 41 injured persons are currently undergoing treatment at two hospitals near the accident spot, including the North Bengal Medical College & Hospital in Siliguri.

As per the officials, the condition of some of the injured persons is critical.

Railway officials said one factor that limited casualties is the fact that the rear part of Kanchanjunga Express comprised the parcel coach and the guard's coach while the passenger compartments further ahead suffered less impact.

After reaching the accident spot on Monday evening, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the state government is setting up a help desk which will be monitored by state ministers Snehasish Chakraborty and Firhad Hakim

From the Bagdogra airport, the Chief Minister first reached the hospital in Siliguri and enquired about the injured persons admitted there.

Meanwhile, Railways officials informed that the railway tracks at the accident spot have been cleared, and train services in the down-section towards New Jalpaiguri have resumed.

Normal services in the up-section are also expected to resume soon.

--IANS

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