50 feared dead in train collision in WB

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Sainthia, 19 July 2010: About 50 people are feared dead and over 70 injured in a major accident involving two express trains at Sainthia station in Birbhum district of West Bengal early on Monday. The accident occurred at 1.54 am when 3148 down New Coochbehar-Sealdah Uttarbanga Express rammed into 3404 down Bhagalpur-Ranchi Vananchal Express which was leaving platform no 4 of the station.

Three coaches, two unreserved and a luggage van, of Vananchal Express became mangled heap of steel due to the impact of the crash which also caused the roof of one of the coaches to fly and land atop a flyover ahead, a visiting PTI correspondent saw. The diesel engine of the Uttarbanga Express was also smashed and the body of the driver could be seen seated at his place.


Eastern Railway sources in Kolkata confirmed that the driver of the Uttarbanga Express and the guard of the Vananchal Express were killed in the accident. At least one body was seen on the roof of the Uttarbanga Express. Injured passengers were being taken to hospitals in Sainthia, and Suri, the district headquarter town. According to V N Tripathy, GM Eastern Railways, the cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained.

Samir Goswami, CPRO, Eastern Railways has told CNN-IBN that senior officers have reached the location and are supervising the operation. Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has already left for the accident site. The accident occurred when Vananchal Express, which was several hours behind the scheduled time of 20.54 pm, was leaving the station, the sources said, adding the other train was more or less on schedule.

The scheduled arrival and departure of Uttarbanga Express at Sainthia was 1.38 am and 1.39 am. It was not clear why the train, which was to halt at the junction station, was on a high speed. The sources said the up line was clear and no train on that route has yet been cancelled.

Eastern Railway has opened control rooms following the accident. The stations and their phone numbers are Sealdah (033-23503535, 033-23503537), Malda (06436-222061), Bhagalpur (06412-4222433), Jamalpur (063444-3101) Relief trains from Rampurhat, Asansol and Burdwan have left for the accident spot, about 191 km from Kolkata. Eastern Railway General Manager V N Tripathy and other senior officials have also left for Sainthia.


Control Room Numbers:

Sealdah: (033-23503535, 033-23503537)

Malda: (06436-222061)

Bhagalpur: (06412-4222433)

Jamalpur: (063444-3101)

Ranchi: (0651-2461404, 0651-2460488, 0651-26002634, 0651-2600263)



Comments on this Article
Gilbert Alva, Kunhalanagar / Bahrain Mon, July-19-2010, 8:26
Train accidents are on the increase now a days. From the picture this appears to be one of the worst, with one train ramming the other at a very high speed ! Otherwise the bogy can not get torn longitudinally and resting on a concrete pillar! The casualties could be quite high. Why should the train accidents keep happening mostly in West Bengal and Bihar ? Does it have anything to do with the railway ministers are always from these two states?
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