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Derailed in UP train tragedy, a holy trip and faith in railways

dehradun Updated: Aug 20, 2017 19:44 IST
Sandeep Rawat
Sandeep Rawat
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,train derailment,Utkal Express

Injured passengers of Utkal Express get medical aid at District Hospital in Haridwar.(Rameshwar Gaur/HT PHOTO)

HARIDWAR: A group of 45 pilgrims from Gwalior boarded the ill fated Utkal Express to Haridwar for festive bath of Somwati Amawasya, which falls Monday. After the train met with an accident near Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar, only half of the batch will take the holy dip as a female member was killed and 15 others suffered grievous injuries.

Each of those injured had their own tale of horror, pain and loss. The train had a large number of pilgrims from south and central India due to the Somwati Amawasya festival. Haridwar district magistrate Deepak Rawat informed the media that 24 injured pilgrims were hospitalised in the city and 12 of them were discharged on Sunday

Vidya Sharma, 60, from Gwalior suffered injuries on head and leg. She said the group was chanting ‘bhajans’ (prayers) when suddenly they felt a massive tremor. “Suddenly,the coach overturned with a deafening sound in a few seconds... I was almost crushed by three or four people who fell from upper berths. Someone broke the emergency gate,through which rescuers from outside brought us out from the derailed coach,” said Vidya,who is determined to take the Somwati Amawasya dip despite her injuries.

Jagriti Sharma, 14, from Madhya Pradesh broke into tears as she narrated the accident. “I will not travel in a train again..I will go back in bus.People fell over each other, they were screaming and my mother also fell. In fear, I closed my eyes but then I saw my parents trying to pull me out from the train.” The girl escaped with injuries in her leg.

Gyan Maayi alias Vigyanand Puri,who boarded the train from Odisha after taking part at a function in Puri, was thankful to the Almighty and the Ganga for saving hundreds of lives given the way several train bogeys overturned on the track.

At Prem Nagar ashram where 207 passengers from Utkal Express have been put up, Gyan Maayi said she decided to give spiritual discourse to a large section of the train passengers who are in trauma. “I myself suffered injuries but I will feel happy if I can remove some mental scar and fear of fellow injured passengers, ”she said.

Train Ticket Examiner Kranti Swarup, who had boarded train from Delhi’s Nizamuddin railway station, was in S-4 coach,when the accident occurred. “The episode was traumatic... I am yet to come out of the shock fully,” he said.

First Published: Aug 20, 2017 19:44 IST