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Train collision: Assam CM speaks to railway minister; assures help to passengers  

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Guwahati, June 17: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed concern about the condition of the passengers from the state who were travelling on the Sealdah-bound Kanchanjungha Express that was hit by a goods train in a place about 10 km from New Jalpaiguri station in north Bengal on Monday morning.

Reportedly, the Kanchanjunga Express, which had left Agartala railway station early morning on Monday, was hit from the rear end by a GFCJ container freight train in an area between Raninagar and Chaterhat section under Katihar division of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) at 8.55 am.

According to NFR authorities, four coaches from the rear side of the passenger train and five wagons of the container-carrying train with front train engine got derailed due to the collision, blocking movement of both up and down trains in the area.

As per reports received on Monday evening, at least eight persons had died and nearly 25 persons were injured in the mishap.

Speaking to mediapersons, chief minister Sarma said the state government was in touch with the railway authorities in regard to the condition of passengers from Assam.

“There would be many passengers from Assam on board, as the train, which began its journey from Tripura, passed through the state. So, I have spoken to Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in this regard,” the chief minister said.

“Our government is awaiting clarity in regard to the details from the railway department. We are concerned about the passengers but necessary action will be taken. We remain concerned about the passengers. My chief secretary is in constant touch with the railway authorities. Whatever we need to do, we will do once we get clarity from railway department,” Sarma said

Earlier, Sarma took to his social media platform, X, to post, “The tragic train collision between the Kanchenjunga Express and a goods train is extremely unfortunate. My heart goes out to the families of those who have lost their lives, and prayers for the swift recovery of the injured. We are monitoring the situation closely and will provide all necessary assistance as and when required.”

Official sources said that helpline numbers have been issued and circulated at all important stations while several trains have been diverted following the mishap.

“All the injured persons are being provided adequate medical help. The unaffected portion of the Kanchanjunga Express has already left the site for its onward journey. All the passengers of the Kanchanjungha Express were provided food packets and water bottles,” NFR chief public relations officer Sabyasachi De said in a statement on Monday evening.

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