‘A massive jerk, followed by two more’: Survivors recount Bengal train tragedy

Updated on Jan 14, 2022 04:27 PM IST
Twelve coaches of the Guwahati-bound Bikaner Express got derailed at Jalpaiguri in north Bengal on Thursday evening, leaving nine passengers dead and at least 36 injured.
 (PTI Photo‘When the first jerk came at 5 pm, passengers started falling over each other,’ recalled one of the passengers who survived.)
(PTI Photo‘When the first jerk came at 5 pm, passengers started falling over each other,’ recalled one of the passengers who survived.)

SILIGURI: It just needed three jerks to finish everything, says Rishab Mishra from Lucknow, one among the lucky passengers whose life got saved miraculously while travelling in the Guwahati-bound Bikaner Express, which got derailed at Jalpaiguri in north Bengal on Thursday evening, leaving nine passengers dead and at least 36 injured.

Mishra, who was going from Kanpur to Guwahati in the S6 coach, said: “The train crossed the Jalpaiguri Road station running at full speed. Just half an hour later, I felt sudden jerk and most of the passengers tumbled down from the upper berths. Moments later came a second jerk and by that time all passengers were on the floor. Immediately after came the third jerk and by that time everything was finished.”

Twelve coaches of the train got derailed in the accident.

Mishra’s description matched exactly with the version of the driver Pradip Kumar, who escaped unscathed and later spoke to media persons.

“All the signals including the home signal, starter and advanced were showing green. The train was given a go ahead by the station master of the approaching station and we were moving ahead. But as we approached the advanced signal, I felt a sudden jerk. It was a massive jerk and the engine started swaying,” said Kumar.

Out of instinct he applied the emergency brakes and the train came to a grinding halt. As he peeped out of the window he saw a cloud of dust.

“I immediately climbed down and went to the rear end. I didn’t have to go too far. There the compartments were lying derailed and crumbled on top of another like some matchboxes,” he added.

Another passenger Siddharth from Kerala who was travelling from New Jalpaiguri to Guwahati in coach number S3 said: “All coaches after the one in which I was travelling derailed at around 5 pm and I saw many dying in front of my eyes.” He boarded the special train arranged by the railways and reached Guwahati on Friday morning.

Rukia Khatun was travelling from Jaipur to Guwahati with her seven-year-old daughter Sahita. As everything turned haywire, Sahita went missing and Rukia was crying and praying for her daughter’s safety till late Thursday night.

Krishna Das a resident of Uttar Maumamari under Mynaguri police station, Jalpaiguri district, where the accident happened had gone to buy potatoes when he heard a big bang.

Das said: “I saw the train coaches derailing and the coach S5 riding on S6. I rushed to the accident site and rescued four people. One of them died while I was still holding him.”

Gautam Barman a resident of Cooch Behar who was brought with minor injury on his left hand said: “I was to get down at New Cooch Behar station and I was preparing for the same.”

Travelling in S6 coach, he was near the bathroom where there was no crowd. “When the first jerk came at 5 pm, passengers started falling over each other. I would have died or injured seriously had I not gone near the bathroom,” he told reporters at Jalpaiguri district hospital where he was admitted and released on Friday morning.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    I am working with Hindustan Times since 2001 and am posted in Siliguri, West Bengal, as Principal Correspondent. I have been regularly covering vast area of northern parts of West Bengal, Sikkim and parts of Nepal and Bhutan.

Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now