Odisha train accident: 48 hours later, Assam man found alive under rubble
The call for help was feeble, weak from injury and dehydration, coming from a thick bush next to an upturned coach of the Coromandel Express.
By nightfall on Sunday, at the site of India’s worst train accident in three decades, relief and rescue workers had called it a day. After two frenetic days of hunting for the living and the dead, there was now little chance of finding anyone else, NDRF director Atul Karwal said on Sunday evening, and the focus turned to restoring services on the track. Still, the past 48 hours had seen over a thousand personnel, both from the state and central agencies converge on the scene, and they milled around, exhausted. Then, at around 5.30pm, a small group of police personnel from the Soro police station, heard a voice.
The call for help was feeble, weak from injury and dehydration, coming from a thick bush next to an upturned coach of the Coromandel Express. For two days, relief workers had searched inside, but underneath the bush was an improbable spot they likely missed. “We were surprised how a man could be alive after 48 hours of a train accident such as this. We called for help and aided by some social workers, took him to the community centre at Soro. He was administered first aid there, and rushed to the Balasore district headquarters hospital,” said a policeman from the Soro police station that discovered him, who did not want to be identified.
At the Balasore district headquarter hospital on Sunday, though weak, the man identified himself as 35-year-old Dulal Mazumdar from Assam, who was traveling in the Coromandel Express with five other people from the state. It is unclear whether his compatriots are alive, or among the injured. “He was in the general compartment of Coromondel Express when the accident happened. He was probably flung off and landed in the bush. It is a miracle that he has survived for two days,” said Dr Subhajit Giri of Balasore district headquarter hospital.
On Monday morning, Mazumdar was rushed to AIIMS Bhubaneswar where he is being treated for a “head injury.” “He is still in trauma and is talking incoherently. We are treating him and he will be kept under close observation,” said AIIMS PRO Rajkishore Dash.
The local police as well as the railway team on Monday afternoon again scoured the area for any possible survivors or bodies that the rescue team may have overlooked in the last 3 days.