Locals recall 'shocking' day

Locals recall 'shocking' day

Locals recall 'shocking' day

Fifty-year-old S K Dwivedi, who lives a few hundred metres away from Bacharawan railway station with his family for the last 20 years, is accustomed to the sound of speeding trains. However, on Friday morning, the sound that he heard was entirely different.

“There was a cloud of dust before me when I opened the door on Friday morning after hearing the big sound. I could see the train and it appeared initially as if it was headed toward my home,” Dwivedi said as he recalled the horrific tragedy that claimed 38 lives.
Dwivedi, a daily traveller,  used to board the Ganga-Gomti Express train which arrives at Bacharawan around nine in the morning the time when Janata Express had derailed. He said that his family had been in “shock” since the accident. “We had never witnessed such a tragedy before...the horror still haunts us,” Dwivedi added.

Indeed, the small town of Bacharawan, barely 50 kilometres from the state capital, had never witness a tragedy of such magnitude. The small and often deserted community health centre at Bacharawan turned into a virtual mortuary within few hours. “There were at least 15 bodies at the CHC,” said Rameshwar Kushwaha, who lives close to the centre.

“The wails and cries of the kin of the deceased passengers pierced the atmosphere in the health centre,” said Dr Sachin, a medical officer as recalled the cries of a young man, whose mother died in the tragedy.

Death came too sudden and close for survivors.

“I was listening to music when the train came to halt with a big sound...I was thrown over my fellow passengers... within a few seconds there was chaos everywhere. All I could hear was the cries of the people around me,” said Rajesh Gupta a native of Ballia district, who in the second coach.

Gupta was all praise for the locals, who, he said, were the first to reach the site to help the passengers. Even the railway officials acknowledged the role of the locals. The villagers, however, found it difficult to get into the mangled general coach, which was sandwiched between the engine and the second general coach.

“We reached the site within a few minutes and started bringing out the injured,” said Vipin Sonkar, a resident of Bacharawan. Kumar’s hands were stained with blood clearly indicating that he must have taken out several injured.

“The trapped passengers were crying but the Railway officials did not bother to rush to their rescue,” Kumar said. He said that he called up his friends to rescue the victims.
Ranjit Kanuajia proudly said that he saved two lives. “This is the noblest work I have done in my life,” he said.

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