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.”