Anxious relatives of passengers of the Indore-Patna Express train — that derailed in Uttar Pradesh leaving more than 100 people dead on Sunday — flooded the rail station in Indore since morning to get any information.
But, pain and frustration were reflected on their face as they failed to get any information from rail officials, including Western Railway public relation officer Jitendra Kumar Jayant.
Jayant told passengers’ relatives that he does not have any information as rescue work was going on war footing at the site.
With clueless about fate of their relatives, some people decided to go to the accident site in Pukhrayan, about 100km from Kanpur, to gather information.
The accident occurred when the Patna-bound train’s coaches ran off the rails shortly after 3 am. It was not clear what caused the derailment.
“Five of my family members are on their way to Akbharpur in S6 coach to attend a vastu function there, but there is no information about them. Don’t know what I’ve to say to my family, who are waiting for information anxiously,” said Nitesh Shukla, a resident of Nanda Nagar in Indore.
Railway officials here said around 1,266 passengers were aboard the train from Indore, with 400 of them in general coaches, 518 in six sleeper coaches and 308 in AC coaches.
Some relatives leave for accident spot
Harish Sharma, who arrived at Indore railway station at around 6.45 am in search of information about his father Doodhnath Sharma travelling in S2 coach of the train, said he had word with his father on Saturday evening, but after the accident his phone was switched off.
The Sharma family has decided to leave for Kanpur.
“Railway officers do not have any clue about any passenger. We have only option to go to Kanpur,” Amarnath Sharma, the younger brother of Doodhnath.
Tough time for waitlisted travellers
Rajaram Borasi, whose sister-in-law Kusma Devi, 38, was travelling along with her four-year-old son Anvish to Kanpur, said, “Many of my relatives from Kanpur came to Indore to attend a mundan ceremony. Since Kusma had some urgency, we booked her ticket on Friday and her waiting list number was 396. On Saturday, we boarded her in S1 coach after having words with on-duty TTE.”
“Since her name was not in reservation chart, we have to run from pillar to post to get any information,” Borasi said.
Families of unhurt passengers thank God
Many relatives thanked god after knowing that many of their relatives are unhurt or got minor injuries in the accident.
Family of Mohan Tiwari and his wife Nisha thanked god after they got information about the couple, who were travelling in S9 coach to Lucknow, escaped unhurt.
Tiwari, a Gandhi Nagar resident, informed his family that after the accident, a rescue team evacuated him and admitted to a Kanpur hospital.
Nitin Saraf, whose 11 relatives were travelling in the train, said he has received information about 10 family members and hoped to get information about other as well.
Saraf, a resident of Jail Road in Indore, said: “After the accident, I had a word with my mother Neeta Ben and grandmother Vandana Ben. After sometime, their phones got switched off leaving me worried. Hopefully, they all are fine now.
Mahajan in touch with MPs: official
Lok Sabha speaker and Indore MP Sumitra Mahajan is in constant touch with the administration in Uttar Pradesh and two of her representatives already left for the accident spot, an official said.
Passenger Amenities Committee member Nagesh Namjosh, who is the railways representative of Mahajan, said, “Mahajan is in constant touch with MPs and the administration there (Uttar Pradesh).”
The official toll in the accident is 120 at the time of going to the press. Over 200 people were also sustained injuries in the accident.
Out of the 29 deceased identified so far in the derailment, eight hail from Madhya Pradesh, railway authorities here said.