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Rajdhani crushes 5 of family

A speeding Rajdhani Express crushed to death five members of a family at Faridabad railway station this morning. The family were on way to a pilgrimage to Hardwar for the Kumbh mela, police said, reports Prabhu Razdan.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2010 01:03 IST
Prabhu Razdan

A speeding Rajdhani Express crushed to death five members of a family at Faridabad railway station this morning.

The family were on way to a pilgrimage to Hardwar for the Kumbh mela, police said.

The mishap occurred on New Township Railway station at 11.30 am on Wednesday when a six-member family was crossing over to platform number one, said railway officials.

The tragedy was set in motion when a small child fell from the lap of her mother on the railway track.

As two-and-a-half-years old Kalli fell, her mother — identified as Bindu, 35 — bent to pick her up. An older daughter, Pooja, six, stopped too.

To save his wife and two daughters from the speeding Rajdhani Express (Nizamuddin-Thiruvananthapuram) which was fast approaching on the same track, the father Kripa Shanker, 40, turned back, along with his mother Bachava Devi, 60.

The father and grandmother managed to reach the rest of the family, but the group could not escape the speeding train and were mowed down, said police. The train was moving to Hazrat Nizamuddin station in Delhi and does not stop at Faridabad, said railway officials.

The entire tragedy unfolded in a matter of mere seconds.

The only survivor in the incident was Kalika Ram, 65, father of Kripa Shanker, who had already crossed the railway track and could do nothing but helplessly watch five of his family members get crushed under the speeding train.

The pieces from the five bodies were found strewn along a major portion of the track.

Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF) officials came to the spot an hour after and the bodies were picked up and kept in the GRP police station till official formalities were completed.

The train was moving at a speed of 110 km per hour.

The bodies were later shifted to BK hospital for a post-mortem examination.

Kalika Ram hails from Bhabhua village in district Baddha in Bihar. Two of his sons were working in different private factories in Faridabad.

Kripa Shanker was employed in an electric factory and lived with his family in Nangla enclave in Faridabad. Ram and his wife had come to Faridabad just three days ago on January 10, at the invitation of son Shanker.

“I fail to understand what has happened to my family,” a shell-shocked Kalika Ram told HT at the GRP police station where the bodies of his kin were kept.

“We were on our way to the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar and see what God had kept in store for me at the evening of my life,” said Ram.

He added the family had to “take a train up to New Delhi and from there another train to Haridwar.”

“This is case of trespassing, though the victims were carrying tickets,” Chief Public Relations Officer, Northern Railways Anant Swaroop told Hindustan Times, adding, “this incident did not affect railway services on this track.”