A shell-shocked Sunita Mishra sits with a few relatives outside the emergency section of the Lala Lajpat Rai hospital. A relative is in the intensive care unit (ICU) with 16 other victims of Ajmer-Siyaldah Express that derailed near Kanpur early on Wednesday morning.
She can’t believe she’s still alive and keeps thanking God.
More than 60 people were injured when the train went off the tracks between Rura and Metha railway stations, about 50km from Kanpur, as the locomotive was crossing a bridge over a dry canal. No deaths have been reported yet.
Mishra was in one of the two coaches that fell about 20 feet into the canal.
“We all were sleeping; suddenly the entire coach began shaking and I felt the coach was going down. A stone saved us; it held the coach from completely going into the canal... It gave us enough space to slip through to safety,” she recounted.
Mishra was on her way to Mount Abu in Rajasthan to the celebrate the new year with a group of people.
Of her companions, Raj Kishore Ojha received serious injuries and was admitted to the hospital. He is among 17 passengers, including seven-year-old Shreya Shah, who received serious injuries. Shah is in critical condition and will need a major head surgery at the LLR hospital.
“The luggage rack broke and hit her,” said the girl’s mother Mamta Shah, who – with her husband – escaped with minor injuries.
Those with minor injuries were admitted to district hospital in Mati, the head quarters of Kanpur Dehat district. First responders also treated about 40 people at the accident site.
About 37 ambulances including 10 from Kanpur city, 10 from Aurrayia and 17 from Kanpur Dehat were rushed to the accident site for transporting the injured to hospitals.
A team of doctors led by chief medical officer Dr RP Yadav was also rushed to the accident site for monitoring the treatment of the rescued passengers.
The incident comes just a month after over 140 people were killed and more than 200 injured when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express train derailed in Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh on November 20.