The Harda train tragedy in Madhya Pradesh shocked many. But, Rajkumar Sundarani, who is one of the survivors, shudders to recall the day even 18 hours after the accident which left 29 dead. “I feel like back from the doors of death,” he says.
Sundarani, a resident of Sindhi Colony in Bhopal, had boarded the Kamayani Express on Tuesday night on his return journey from Jalgaon in Maharashtra after attending his maternal uncle’s funeral. He was resting on his berth in the S-4 coach and suddenly at around 11.15pm, he felt a big jolt which made passengers fall off their berths. Before he could make out that the train had derailed, he found the bogie filled with water up to the neck.
But, he somehow managed to keep himself still by catching hold of the alarm chain as he was on the upper berth. He said he saw two men find the emergency exit in the light of their cellphones, open it and jump out. Finding others following them, he too jumped out of the exit but found himself in water.
Sundarani said, "There was nothing but water outside the bogie. I saw a man far away standing in the waist deep water. I started walking in the water and somehow reached near a bridge after half an hour.”
Soon a rescue team reached there and helped him out. “I thanked God that I survived," he said, adding that around 11.30 pm he made a phone call to his friend Ratan from somebody’s cellphone and “asked him to inform my family members about the accident and that I am safe. The next day I reached home safely,” he said.
Sundarani has sustained some minor injuries. But, the trauma of the accident is still visible in his eyes.