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At Least Eight Dead After Trains Collided in Eastern India Near Darjeeling Tourist Spot

India Train Collision

NEW DELHI — A cargo train rammed into a passenger train in India’s eastern state of West Bengal on Monday, killing at least eight people and injuring several others, officials said.

Doctors, disaster-response teams and ambulances were engaged in rescue work, the state’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in a post on social media platform X. The accident took place the Darjeeling district, a tourist spot nestled in the Himalayan foothills.

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Three of the eight dead were railway personnel, said Sabyasachi De, the spokesperson of the Northeast Frontier Railway. At least 25 people were injured in the collision, which occurred close to the New Jalpaiguri station.

Television channels showed footage of one train rammed into the end of the other, with one compartment rising vertically in the air. Many people gathered as rescuers searched the crash site.

The driver of the cargo train disregarded a signal, causing the collision, De said. Four compartments at the rear of the passenger train had derailed due to the impact, he said, adding most of the cars were carrying cargo while one was a passenger coach.

The Kanchanjunga Express is a daily train that connects West Bengal state with other cities in the northeast. It is often used by tourists who travel to the hill station of Darjeeling, popular at this time of year when other Indian cities are sweltering in the heat.

More than 12 million people ride 14,000 trains across India daily, traveling on 64,000 kilometers (40,000 miles) of track. Despite government efforts to improve rail safety, several hundred accidents happen annually, most blamed on human error or outdated signaling equipment.

Last year, a train crash in eastern India killed over 280 people in one of the country’s deadliest accidents in decades.

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