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"Rescue operation completed": Ashwini Vaishnaw visits Kanchenjunga Express train accident site

Darjeeling (West Bengal): Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Monday inspected the Kanchenjunga Express train accident site in Darjeeling district and said that the rescue operation has been completed.

"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," Vaishnaw told reporters.

The Railways Minister also visited the North Bengal Medical College in Siliguri and met the injured.

At least eight people have died and about 25 to 30 are injured as a goods train collided with the Sealdah-bound Kanchanjungha Express on Monday morning near New Jalpaiguri, a senior North Frontier Railway (NFR) official said.

The accident took place at Ruidhasa near Rangapani station in the Katihar Railway Division ahead of New Jalpaiguri Junction at around 8:45 am today. The area falls in the Siliguri subdivision of Darjeeling district.

Kanchanjungha Express which runs between Silchar in Assam to Sealdah in Kolkata was on its way from Agartala in Tripura to Sealdah when the goods train hit it from behind, according to Sabyasachi De, Chief Public Relations Officer - Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR).

A wagon of the Kanchenjunga Express train was suspended in the air after a goods train rammed into it at Ruidhasa near Rangapani station under the Siliguri subdivision in the Darjeeling district.

Meanwhile, rescue efforts to extricate trapped passengers are ongoing. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and police are present at the Kanchenjunga Express train accident site in Ruidhasa in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal. 

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