Bengal Train Crash: Documents Reveal Goods Train Driver was Allowed to Pass Red Signals

Darjeeling: A recently emerged document has shed light on the deadly collision between a goods train and the Kanchanjunga Express in West Bengal on Monday, casting doubt on initial reports that blamed the goods train driver for violating signals.

The document, a written authority called TA 912, issued by the station master of Ranipatra to the goods train driver, authorised him to bypass all red signals between Ranipatra Railway Station and Chattar Hat Junction due to a malfunction in the automatic signalling system.

The automatic signalling system reportedly failed around 5:50 am on Monday.

The Kanchanjunga Express, en route from Agartala to Sealdah, had departed Rangapani station but came to a halt between Ranipatra and Chattar Hat Junctions for reasons that are still unclear. Shortly after, the goods train departed Rangapani and collided with the stationary Kanchanjunga Express at 8:55 am. This collision resulted in the derailment of several coaches and tragic casualties.

Initial statements from the Railway Board attributed the incident to the goods train driver allegedly disregarding signals. However, the Indian Railway Loco Runningmen Organisation (IRLRO) contested this, citing the TA 912 document which authorized the goods train to pass red signals due to the signalling system failure.

The incident has claimed 15 lives with several others injured. The Railway Board has announced an inquiry into the matter to determine the exact sequence of events leading to the collision.

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