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8 Dec 2016

Signal jump blame on driver - Two die in derailed capital express

TT, Alipurduar, Dec. 7: Two persons died when two coaches and the engine of the Capital Express derailed yesterday near the Bengal-Assam border with preliminary reports suggesting the express had not heeded a red signal.
Officials of the Northeast Frontier Railway said the train had overshot a red signal. The driver and two others in the train crew have been suspended. An inquiry would be conducted by the commissioner, the officials said.
Railway sources said the train reached Samuktala Road station, the last stop in Bengal, at 9.05pm last night.
"At that time, those at the railway control instructed the loco pilot, co-pilot and the guard to stop the train so that the Guwahati-bound Rajdhani Express could pass," an official said.
However, the driver overshot a red signal.
Shortly after that, the engine and two coaches jumped tracks and fell near a stream.
"Preliminary reports suggest that drivers of the Capital Express overshot the red signal," P.J. Sharma, the chief public relation officer of the NFR, said.
Partha Sarathi Roy, the pilot, Bikram Balmiki, the assistant pilot and Subrata Bagchi, the guard, have been suspended, sources said.
Hearing the sound of the engine crashing, local people rushed to the site and rescued the passengers.
The accident halted train movement between Bengal and Assam for some time but soon, trains were allowed to move.
"Two persons were trapped inside a general second-class coach. They could not be rescued. This morning, we used gas cutters and other equipment to make space inside the compartment. Both have died," an NFR source said.
The deceased have been identified as Munshi Nath, 65, and Mahesh Nath, 40. They are residents of Faridabad in Haryana.
Among the six injured, four are residents of Banarhat in Jalpaiguri while two others are from Assam.
The railways have handed over Rs 5,000 as ex-gratia to them, sources said. The families of the deceased would be provided with a compensation of Rs 5 lakh.
Rabi Raj, who was in the general second-class coach, said: "I was busy with my cellphone and lying on the upper berth where usually the luggage is kept. There was a loud sound and a jolt. I jumped to the floor and realised the coach had tilted to one side."

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