Harrowing time for families

Many of them were praying for their safety, as they waited for a relief train which will bring the survivors here. At the LTT,  the list of those injured had been put up and relatives were going through it again and again, with a sigh of relief spreading on the faces of some of them.

The train was bringing passengers from Kolkata to Mumbai, many of them returning after their vacation, many coming here for a summer break and others were usual migrants, coming here in search of livelihood.

Jaikumar was among the scores of anxious relatives waiting at the terminus. His mother-in-law and nephew were returning on the train but their names were not in the list of those injured in the tragedy. “I got the news at 6 am and came here. I have been looking for them and really worried. Don’t know what’s happened,” he said.

Relatives were running from pillar to post trying to gather some information, hoping their loved ones are not among the dead or the injured. But it was only nine hours after tragedy struck did railway officials come up with a new tentative list. “Railway officials themselves are confused. My younger brother was on the train. He was coming here for an interview,” said Joydeb Roy who was waiting at the LTT.

It was certainly long and traumatic wait and information from the Railway’s helpline was sketchy. Even for the lucky few who were able to get through their relatives back in West Bengal, it was not all rosy. “I called up my brother and he told me that my daughters are still missing,” said one relative.

In another case, a 60-year old man waited for his son and daughter-in-law, who had boarded the trail on Thursday night. Their names were neither in the list of the dead or the injured, and he really did not know what to do.

What raised his anxiety most was that his son’s mobile continued to ring, but there was no response. He and three of his relatives caught Geetanjali Express and left for Howrah in search of the couple.

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