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Bengal rail mishap: Assistant loco-pilot of goods train yet to give full statement

Kolkata: Timely submission of the final probe report in the Kanchanjunga Express-goods train collision earlier this month in Darjeeling district by the Commissioner of Railway Safety has become uncertain, as the assistant loco pilot of the goods train is still not in a shape to give his full statement.

The accident, which took place near the New Jalpaiguri railway station on June 17, killed 11 and injured over 40 people, including the guard of the Kanchanjunga Express and the loco pilot of the goods train that rammed into it from behind.

Sources said although the medical condition of Manu Kumar, the assistant loco pilot of the goods train, is improving, he is yet to come out of the mental trauma of witnessing the deadly mishap.

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“Once he is out of the crisis, his statement will be recorded in detail. As per the protocol, he will have to submit a written statement besides answering the queries of the probe officials,” said a source in the Railways.

Since the loco pilot of the goods train and the guard of the Kanchanjunga Express were killed in the accident, the statement of Kumar is crucial for drafting the final investigation report, he added.

Initial probe revealed that the goods train overshot the restricted speed limit of 15 kmph while covering the distance between Rangapani and Chatter Hat and hit the Kanchanjunga Express from behind.

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