Anil Chandra De, a retired railway employee, had never thought that Wednesday night would be the last time he would see his wife Shefali alive, when they boarded the ill-fated Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express.
While De, a resident of Pilibhit, escaped miraculously, Shefali got trapped under the wheels of the train and died on the spot. She was among the four people who were killed in the accident, while more than 22 received injuries.
“We had been planning to visit Kamakhya temple and seek the goddess’ blessings for the past several months. Before going to sleep, we offered our prayers and had even talked about going to the temple together on Thursday,” said De, overcome with emotions.
“I could not leave my wife. I saw her body under the train. Officials told me that her body would be handed to me after post-mortem,” said a traumatised De, adding, “My whole life lies shattered right before my eyes.”
Meanwhile, the border town of Ferozepur in Punjab was shocked when news of the death of three local residents in the Rajdhani mishap spread. The dead belong to two local families who had gone for a vacation with their families.
“On Monday night, the two families had initially boarded Punjab Mail from Ferozepur and later Rajdhani Express from New Delhi to reach their destination but last mid night an accident took place when the train reached Chapra,” said Rajesh Dhawan, Pawan’s brother.
Pawan, Neelam and Bharti Beri died on the spot, while the five others sustained injuries.
Meanwhile, friends and relatives thronged the houses of the victims. Till the filing of this report, the bodies had been brought to New Delhi and arrangements were being made to bring them to Ferozepur.