Quick response saved scores of lives

A man holds a child as he grieves while waiting outside a mortuary in Arakkonam to receive the body of a family member on Wednesday. AP Unmindful of the pouring rain and poor visibility in pitch darkness—save a few high mast lamps in the compound of a private cement factory on the northern side of the tr­acks—people from nearby villages trooped out spontan­eously out to help beleaguered passengers to safety.

“It must have been around 9:45 pm. I heard a loud blast and when I ran out, I saw one train rammed into another; ma­ny passengers had been thrown out with bleeding injuries,” said G Kumar, a fa­rmer in Chitteri. “But soon, with or without torch lights, hundreds of others from four villages around this place rushed out to help pull out the injured.”

The driver of the Electrical Multiple Unit had apparently jumped out. “I by then was out of my factory and along with a few others we pulled him out (the driver); he was still conscious and could recall a mobile number,” said Ezhil Kumar of Chitteri. “We put him in a share-auto and sent him to Arakkonam Government Hospital.” 

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