Around 50-odd people, relatives of the passengers travelling in the Delhi-bound Kalka Mail that derailed near Malwa station in Uttar Pradesh, left Delhi for the accident site, with an uncertainty about the fate of their near and dear ones on late Sunday night.
"My son, nephews and his friends, all youngsters were coming from Murshidabad. All of them are injured-two are serious. They had called from someone else's mobile phone after the accident. But now I have no clue whatsoever about them," a worried Joydeb Das said.
Das's son Jayanta, 18, nephews Abhijit, 25, and Rajiv 24, brother-in-law's son Debashis 19, their friend Golabjul Haq, 22, and Utpal Mandal, 29 were travelling together.
Like Das, most of those who boarded the train, almost all of them from West Bengal-they boarded the train at New Delhi, Old Delhi and Ghaziabad stations-were uncertain about the whereabouts of their relatives, as they could not get in touch with the passengers, possibly due to lack of phone signal at the site.
When the train started from New Delhi at 9.25pm, about half an hour behind schedule, there were 11 people, mostly from weaker economic strata. In all 25 others boarded the train at Old Delhi and the rest at Ghaziabad.
Biman Mandal's sister-in-law Ila has been missing since the accident while his brother Sumit and their child six-year-old old Bishwajit were injured but safe. "They had gone home for holiday. They were coming from Bardhman," Mandal said.
Ram Babu said, "My uncle Kaalu Ram, 65, a vegetable vendor, had called me minutes before he boarded the train at Fatehpur. As luck would have it, the train met with the accident and there is no news from him ever since."
But the relatives were overwhelmed by the treatment they received from the railway staff. They were also served dinner and water soon after the train started. All entry and exit points of the train were guarded.
Meanwhile, people who came to New Delhi Railway Station expressed satisfaction at the arrangement made by the Railways. There were continuous announcements, information boards and there was ample staff helping those who sought any information.