Minutes before the Kalka Mail ended up in a mangled heap, conductor Jameel Ahmad (55) had left the air-conditioned coach A1, where he had been sitting.
It was a providential escape. The A1 coach was one of the worst-hit compartments, with most of its occupants dead.
The coach he went to was the one he was in charge of, A2, where all the passengers were safe. A devoutly religious man, Ahmad calls it a miracle.
Talking to Hindustan Times from Tundla on phone, he said it was almost as if he heard an inner voice repeatedly commanding him to leave the A1 coach.
For him, Sunday had begun like any other, with a namaz at the Mughalsarai station at 3.30 am.
But around mid-day, everything went haywire. The memory of three huge jerks followed by an earsplitting screech, still gives him the shivers.
The scene was horrifying, he recalled, one bogie on top of another and the hapless passengers screaming for help.
He managed to get out of his compartment, but went back inside after he saw live electric wires all over.
He came out only after the power supply was switched off.
What made him happy was the thought of the service he could render to the dead and the injured. He is also happy that his colleague, conductor Ramkumar, is safe as well.
He now asks only one favour of Allah: No more accident till he retires.