Nagpur: The passengers of ill-fated Duronto Express which left for Mumbai from Nagpur on Monday evening, like any other traveller. would not have imagined in the wildest of their dreams that the journey they were on, would turn out to be the worst nightmare of their lives. The train was to just few minutes away from Mumbai when it hit the landslide on the washed away tracks near Aasangaon, 70 kms off Mumbai. For many of them it was as if ‘Titanic hit the iceberg’! However with all the adversities comes the real test of humanity! And this was clearly evident and proved as the passengers helped each other in reaching to the safety from the rough terrain surrounded by a water body on one side and hillock on the other.
Nagpur Today got in touch with a passenger named Rohit Singh who was travelling to Mumbai and had experienced the tragedy closely. Talking to NT, Rohit shared the harrowing account of his rendezvous with the mishap. He hails from Nagpur and works at Accenture in Mumbai was travelling to his work place.
Here’s what he said, “It was around 6.20 am and I was half asleep when I suddenly experienced a terrible jerk. As I rushed to peep out to know what exactly happened, the scene before my eyes was enough to take anybody’s breathe off. The train bogies had fully moved off tracks. while the luggage van was in rumbles and tattering. I was in the coach next to luggage bogey whose battery was blown out and smoke was billowing out of the body. Meanwhile attendants were quick to take control of the situation and were helping in evacuating the passengers to safety. I also joined the rescue works and helped the people get out of damaged bogies. We broke the window glasses with the help of iron rods ejected from the broken bogies, and offered blankets and sheets to the elders. Most of the young people seen assisting the elders. The RPF too was not in by that time as it was early morning and all were fast asleep.
Driver acted in nick of time
Rohit further adds, “I also spoke to the driver of this train who said that he had to apply emergency brakes as he spotted a landslide on the track. As the train was about to reach a station, it slowed down but it was still running at the speed of 65 km per hour when the train had to be screeched to crashing halt. I must say the timely alertness of the driver saved the lives of passengers.
Only local help till 3 hrs
Rohit said that I interacted with fellow passengers who had their own reasons for reaching Mumbai hurriedly. Some had to catch the flight to Kenya from Mumbai while many of them were going for medical treatment in the metropolis. But the sad part was that the first medical services reached by 9.30 am almost 3 hours after the accident. Luckily no one was seriously injured. The reason given for the delay was that the goods carrier train was stuck on the tracks and the rescue team had to wait till the tracks got cleared. Duronto Express does not have any pantry car too so there was no food or water for 3 hours. Thanks to the local villagers who reached out to help the passengers in all possible way they could. One Shiv Sena leader also reached the spot at around 8.30 am. However the supplies reached only by 9.30 am. We had to walk up to 3 to 4 kms to get the buses of private companies which took us to the destination. I reached Mumbai at 4 pm but the incessant rains had further worsened the situation.
Good thing is that no body was hurt majorly and everyone was safe, he quipped.