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West Bengal train crash death toll now 148

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Press Trust Of India

Last Updated: May 30, 2010, 20:21 IST

West Bengal train crash death toll now 148

Around 145 passengers being treated in Midnapore, Kharagpur and Kolkata.

Jhargram, West Bengal: Deaths caused by the derailment of Gyaneshwari Express increased to 148 on Sunday after the authorities pulled out more bodies from the train’s wreckage.

West Midnapore District Magistrate N S Nigam put the death toll at 148.

"All bodies from the spot have been recovered. Train services along the route resumed at 2.50 am early this morning," said Anil Handa, South Eastern Railway's Kharagpur Divisional Railway Manager.

Around 145 passengers are being treated in hospitals in Midnapore, Kharagpur and Kolkata, he said.

All trains on the Sardiha and Khemasuli route in Jhargram in West Midnapore district will now have a speed limit of 15 kmph at night, Handa said. Trains on the Kharagpur-Tatanagar section of the South Eastern Railway (SER) resumed this morning.

A six-member Criminal Investigation Department team led by CID Additional Director General Raj Kanojia and accompanied by forensic experts visited the derailment site and inspected the 400-metre stretch of the damaged railway track.

The forensic experts collected samples from the spot, including pandrol clips, which were found to be dislodged at many places.

"It is a case of sabotage. Planned attacks on the railways have been going on in this area for quite some time. The railway line was cut and the pandrol clips were opened but without a forensic report we cannot say whether there was an explosion or not," Kanojia told reporters.

The passenger train went off the track between Sardiha and Khemasuli railway stations at 1.30 a.m. on Friday, allegedly after sabotage by Naxals.

first published:May 30, 2010, 20:21 IST
last updated:May 30, 2010, 20:21 IST