Grief and chaos reigned at Howrah station on Friday.
Survivors of the Mumbai-bound Gyaneshwari Express who reached the station more than 12 hours after the mishap recounted the moments of horror.
Abdul Mondal (32) was sleeping in the S4 compartment when the train derailed.
“I suddenly heard a thud and felt a huge jolt,” said Mondal, a resident of West Bengal’s North 24-Parganas district. “After a few seconds when I came to my senses, I saw everything upside down. The compartment had turned turtle.”
He somehow managed to drag himself out through an emergency window. “I saw people lying like lumps of flesh inside the train bogie.”
Mondal, who boarded the train on Thursday night from Howrah station, was given first aid at Midnapore state general hospital and sent to Howrah by Purulia Express on Friday afternoon.
Debashmita Majumdar stood beside Mondal, with an injured leg. “The screams of agony of the injured are haunting me,” said Majumdar, who was heading to Mumbai in the ill-fated train.
There was chaos at Mumbai’s Kurla Terminus too, with people waiting for news of relatives.
Ajay Panicker (28), who works in a call centre, tried desperately to get news of his cousin, Hamir Sawaliwala (45), and Hamir’s wife, Asha (41), who were returning to Mumbai on the Gyaneshwari Express.
“I have been waiting at the terminus since morning but till now don’t know where Hamir is,” said Panicker. “I just hope that he is alive somewhere,” he added.
(with inputs from Mumbai)