AP train mishap: Survivors recount horror

AP train mishap: Survivors recount horror

A pall of gloom descended over Kothacheruvu, a sleepy village in Anantapur district where 26 passengers were killed today after an AC coach of Bangalore-Nanded train caught fire even as those who escaped the jaws of death recounted the travel horror.

65 passengers were travelling in the coach as fire broke out around 3.35 am between Sri Satya Sai Prashanti Nilayam and Basampalle stations on Bangalore division of South Western Railway when most of them were asleep.

Though as many as 39 of them were lucky as they manage alight on time, some of them lost their loved ones on board.

Charan, a resident of Bangalore saved 20 other passengers from the bogie even as his wife and father-in-law could not escape, N Raghuveera Reddy AP Minister for Revenue rpt Revenue who hails from the district said.

Ramamurthy, one of the passengers who escaped from the clutches of death, said he suddenly woke up as smoke and fire engulfed the compartment and tried to reach the door.

"I saw many people struggling to get down from the moving train through the door. After some time the train stopped," said Ramamurthy from Mysore, who had boarded the train from Bangalore towards Mantralayam.

Another passenger undergoing treatment at one of the hospitals said he broke open the window-pane to let the air circulate as people could not breathe due to heavy smoke in the compartment.

One of the relatives of the deceased said he got a phone call from his brother at 3.30 am saying that the AC bogie in which he along with parents, sister and brother-in-law were travelling had caught fire.

According to the phone call from my brother, there are was no trace of our father and sister, he said adding “We wanted them to travel comfortably that's why booked tickets in an AC coach. We saw them (Brother, father, mother, sister and her husband) off at Bangalore railway station.

"I got a phone call at 3.40 am my saying that the bogie caught fire and my brother, brother-in-law and mother escaped by breaking the window pane. We do not know about my father and sister," the grieving kin said.

Dr C Ramasubbarao, DM and HO of Anantapur said they have completed post mortem of bodies, and femur (thighbone) of the deceased would be preserved for DNA tests as some of the bodies were charred beyond recognition.

"Bodies will be sent to Victoria Hospital in Bangalore for preservation. DNA tests may take 3 to 4 days," the official told PTI.

Anantapur SP Senthil Kumar said so far 8 bodies have been identified.

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