Image Source : INDIA TV Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

Kanchanjunga Express accident: Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw reached the spot where a speeding freight train collided with the stationed Kanchanjunga Express near Rangapani station in the Darjeeling district in West Bengal and took stock of the situation. He said that the rescue operation has been completed and the focus has now shifted to the restoration of the tracks as “this is the main line”. He said that he would meet the injured.

“Right now our focus is on restoration. This is the main line. The rescue operation has been completed. This is not the time for politics. I will also meet the injured,” he said.

Government announces ex-gratia

Earlier in the day, Vaishnaw announced enhanced ex-gratia after a major train accident involving a goods train and the Kanchanjungha Express near New Jalpaiguri on Monday. At least 9 people lost their lives and over 60 got injured in the accident. “Enhanced ex-gratia compensation will be provided to the victims; ₹10 Lakh in case of death, ₹2.5 Lakh towards grievous and ₹50,000 for minor injuries,” he posted on X.

He emphasised that the injured had been transferred to a hospital for treatment. “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,” Vaishnaw wrote on X.

The compensation comes after PM Modi’s announcement for ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from PMNRF (Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund). “PM @narendramodi has announced that an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased in the railway mishap in West Bengal. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000,” the PMO posted on X.

9 passengers died and 60 others were injured, after three rear coaches of the Sealdah-bound Kanchanjunga Express derailed on Monday morning as a goods train collided with it in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district, officials said.

(With ANI inputs)

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