States & UTs

    Bengal train accident: Railway Board says anti-train collision system not in place on mishap route

    The Hawk
    June17/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    The system is being planned for implementation on this route. The collision, attributed to possible human error, underscores the need for enhanced safety measures in Indian Railways.

    Kanchanjungha Express accident visuals

    Kolkata: The Railways’ ‘Kavach’ or anti-train train collision system was not in place along the Guwahati-Delhi route, where a goods train collided with the Sealdah Kanchanjunga Express in the rear on Monday, a top official said.

    Railway Board Chairperson Jaya Varma Sinha said that Kavach, an automatic anti-collision train protection system, is being planned for the route.

    "It is not there right now," she said.

    Pointing towards a possible “human error” on part of the loco pilot of the goods train who succumbed to injuries from the accident, Sinha said the collision near New Jalpaiguri may have happened because the goods train disregarded the signal and hit the Kanchanjungha Express, which was on way to Sealdah from Agartala.

    According to the chairperson, five people died in the incident. However, some local reports attributed to senior West Bengal Police officials put the toll at 15.

    "Five passengers have died. The loco pilot of the goods train and the guard of Kanchanjungha Express have also lost their lives. About 50 passengers have been injured and they have been admitted to the North Bengal Medical College," Sinha said.

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    She said a guard's coach and two parcel vans of Kanchanjungha Express were destroyed and it was because of these three coaches, the passenger coach didn't get much impact.

    "The general compartment has also been impacted. Our priority was to rescue passengers. It has been completed now. Our area officer and his team reached the accident site, which is 10 km from the New Jalpaiguri station," Sinha said.

    The chairperson also asserted that safety is the first priority of the Railways.

    "We are doing everything to ensure that train operations remain safe," she said.

    Stating that the implementation of ‘Kavach’ is being done on a mission mode, Sinha said it is already functional in 1,500 km of railway tracks, while another 3,000 kms will be added by the end of this year.

    She said the production of the safety system has to be ramped up by the suppliers for ensuring faster implementation of the Kavach project across the country's railway network.