Mangled heaps of bogies lying off the tracks, passengers in bandages and plasters and a row of hearse vans lined up - the scene at the site of the derailment of the Mumbai-bound Gyaneshwari Express in Jhargram virtually resembled a war zone.
Belongings of passengers including suitcases, bags and shoes were strewn around as ladders and cranes were being deployed to take out the survivors and clear the tracks at Guptamoni, about 135 km from Howrah where the derailment took place killing 68 passengers.
Many passengers were seen in bandages or plasters, sitting huddled with whatever was left of their belongings, waiting to be evacuated, while some others were seen weeping inconsolably as bodies were brought out of the crushed bogies.
Rescue workers were trying to enter the overturned bogies using gas-cutters and those who managed to come out on their own squatted along the tracks nursing their wounds.
CRPF and army personnel assisted by a sniffer dog and donned in masks and helmets used gas cutters to carry out the rescue operations.
The correspondent saw a six year-old girl being extricated from S4 compartment in an unconscious state along with another of about the same age, but dead.
The unconscious child was rushed to a waiting helicopter to be ferried to the Railway hospital at Kharagpur and the sadar hospital at Midnapore for treatment.
Heart breaking scenes were witnessed at the site.
Debashsis Naskar, a goldsmith from North 24 Parganas working in the western metropolis wept uncontrollably as he had lost his father, elder brother, sister-in-law, younger brother and niece in the incident.