It was around 4.50 a.m. The Goa Express had just crossed the Mathura junction when I was jolted out of my sleep. I almost fell from my upper berth. I leaned down and saw complete pandemonium in the coach. People wereyelling and trying to get out.
I thought the train had derailed. I stopped a bewildered pantry boy. He said amid sobs, “Some of my men are stuck in the pantry car as it has beenripped apart”. I ran towards the pantry car. Its front end was badly damaged. It was dark all around. I switched on my mobile phone light and saw a man trapped inside it. I could not make out if he was alive.
The track beneath the pantry car had caved in but I could get a glimpse of another train beyond that.
The Mewar Express too was in bad shape. All I could hear in the darknesswas cries for help. As dawn broke I saw injured passengers drenched in blood.
Police and administration personnel started trickling in around 6.00a.m. I returned to the pantry car and took one last peep. There were gas cylinders all around and mercifully they hadn't exploded.
The writer is senior sub-editor with Hindustan