Passengers recount tales of horror

Passengers recount tales of horror

Heaps of bags, backpacks, suitcases, water bottles and the mangled coaches of the ill-fated Dehradun-Varanasi Janata Express train bore mute testimony to the intensity of the mishap that claimed 35 lives and left over 150 others wounded.

The first coach immediately after the engine, packed to capacity, was so badly mangled after the derailment that its original size was reduced significantly indicating that very few passengers in that coach would have survived.

Ram Kripal, a resident of Amethi, who was on way home and was travelling in the second coach after the engine, writhed in pain as he recounted the tragedy. “There was a huge sound and suddenly we fell upon one another,” said Kripal, who suffered injuries on his head, hands and legs.

Thirty five year old Mubashir Khan, who was travelling in S-5 coach and had a narrow escape, said that the passengers had a feeling that something was wrong when the train passed Nigohan railway station, which preceded Bacharawan, where the tragedy occurred. “The speed of the train was unusually more...we were experiencing violent jerks....as the train sped past Bacharawan, our fears were confirmed,” Khan said. He claimed that he saw at least 40 bodies.

Naeem Ahmed, who too was in the second coach and suffered serious injuries on his back and chest, narrated a similar tale. A resident of Amroha, Neem said that he was awakened by a huge sound and was thrown over by the impact. “At first I was unable to understand what went wrong but then I could hear the cries of my fellow passengers and then it dawned upon me that the train had met with an accident,” he said.

Ram Dhani, who was on way to Varanasi with his family and travelling in S-5 coach, too had a narrow escape. He said that the number of dead could have been much more if the Janata Express had collided with Ganga Gomti Express coming from the opposite direction.

“The railway officials at Bacharawan railway station said that the brakes of the train had failed....I have never seen such a mishap...there were children among the dead,” he said.

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