Bengal train mishap: Injured assistant loco pilot shifted to Assam's Maligaon

Manu Kumar, the assistant loco pilot of the goods train that collided with Kanchanjunga Express earlier this month in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal has been shifted to Assam for continuing medical treatment purposes.
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Manu Kumar, the assistant loco pilot of the goods train that collided with Kanchanjunga Express earlier this month in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal has been shifted to Assam for continuing medical treatment purposes.

Kumar was undergoing treatment at a private nursing home in Siliguri. Although a senior railways official confirmed the shifting of Kumar to Maligaon near Guwahati, which happens to be the headquarters of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), the railway officials were tight-lipped on the exact time when the shifting took place.

The divisional railway manager of the Katihar division of NFR Surendra Kumar has confirmed the shifting and said that the treatment purposes were the reasons for the shifting.

However, railways insiders said that besides the treatment purposes, there is another reason for his shifting which is to start the process of questioning him about the accident as soon as he is medically and mentally fit for that purpose.

The reason why detailed questioning of Kumar has not been possible so far is that although his medical conditions have improved substantially, he has yet to come out of the trauma because of the impact of the accident and deaths in front of his eyes.

The loco pilot of the goods train, who was in the same cabin with Kumar, died in the collision. The guard of Kanchanjunga Express also died in the accident which so far has taken a toll of 11 lives.

Since Kumar’s statement is extremely crucial for the final drafting of the investigation report on the accident, sources said, the authorities concerned want to expedite the process for completion of treatment and beginning of his questioning at the same place which is Maligaon.

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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