A deathly buzz shrouded sleepy Sukul Talab in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur Dehat district on Sunday as ambulances flitted to and from the neighbourhood mortuary and the site where the Indore-Patna Express train derailed, killing 142 people.
“It was an unusual day even for our locality which is used to the sound of vehicles carrying bodies as it’s located barely 200 metres away from the mortuary,” said Ram Sahay, who has been residing in the locality for the past 50 years.
Initially the residents did not pay much attention to the sound but as the vehicles kept coming, they realised something big had happened.
Residents said around 6am they saw the first flash of the tragic news on the television.
Soon the mortuary was cramped with bodies.
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“I haven’t seen anything like this in my 65 years of age. I haven’t seen so many bodies at one place.
Within an hour or two of the incident, the courtyard of the mortuary was full with corpses,” added Sahay, who is a farmer.
Health department officials put up a shamiayana in the complex and another in a nearby park to accommodate bodies, which kept coming till 6pm.
“Initially we were counting the ambulances just to ascertain the numbers of deceased. But after few hours, we could not keep track as bodies kept coming one after another,” said Santosh Kumar, who owns a Paan shop near the mortuary.