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India's train mishap death toll rises to 8

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-06-17 15:45
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NEW DELHI - The death toll in Monday's train mishap in eastern India rose to eight, as more than 25 people were rescued from the mishap spot and admitted to a local hospital, a Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) official reportedly told local media.

According to him, those admitted to the hospital had non-fatal injuries.

"Around 25 people have been injured, and they have been shifted to the nearby hospital. They have non-fatal injuries. The rescue operation is going on a war footing. We are trying to finish the rescue operation as soon as possible. Senior officials have already reached the site," media reports quoted NFR chief public relations officer Sabyasachi De as saying.

"According to the preliminary information, the Kanchenjunga Express was hit from the rear by a goods train. We have information of eight deaths," the officer added.

The accident occurred near the Rangapani railway station in Phansidewa area of the state's Darjeeling district at around 9:00 am local time when a goods train crashed into the "Kanchanjunga Express" passenger train.

The country's Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the West Bengal's State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) were carrying out the rescue operation.

"Unfortunate accident in 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," said the minister in a post on X (erstwhile Twitter).

A couple of compartments of the goods train were seen climbing atop the passengers train, as a few bogies of the passenger train were badly crushed under it.

"Gas-cutters are being used to see through the rubble of the two trains for rescuing trapped passengers, if any," said a local cop over phone.

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