‘Heard a loud bang, thought it was a plane crash’
Derailment shattered 500 railway sleepers and badly damaged the track up to 9 metres, bringing movement of trains on Rae Bareli-Lucknow section to a grinding halt.lucknow Updated: Oct 11, 2018 12:34 IST
Apart from those who lost their lives in the train tragedy, hundreds of passengers had a close shave when nine bogies of Delhi-bound 14003 MLDT-NDLS Express derailed near Harchandpur area of Rae Bareli on Wednesday.
The sudden derailment shattered 500 railway sleepers and badly damaged the track up to 9 metres, bringing the movement of trains on Rae Bareli-Lucknow section to a grinding halt. The Accident Relief Train (ART) from nearby districts, Varanasi and Lucknow, along with a fleet of officials rushed to the spot to rescue the passengers.
A few who suffered minor injuries due to the shock were rushed to nearby hospitals where their condition was stated to be stable while those who suffered major injuries were rushed to Lucknow for medical aid.
“It was a smooth journey until we reached Harchandpur station. We experienced a sudden jerk followed by the shattering noise. We knew something had gone wrong, but were unable to find out what it was,” said Alok Kumar Singh, a passenger from Bihar, while sharing his experience.
“I lost a person in front of my eyes. This journey was like a nightmare,” said Sudha Prasad, another passenger, seated in a general coach.
The incident was equally shocking for the people of Harchandpur village located just 300 metres from the Harchandpur station – the spot where the accident took place.
“The mishap left all of us aghast,” said Naithu Lal, a local who owns a shop near Harchandpur station.
Locals rushed to the spot after they heard a loud bang. “Initially, we thought it’s a plane crash and rushed to the site that was covered with dust clouds. Later, we came to know that it was a train accident,” added Lal.
Some villagers said they were the first ones to carry out rescue operations and informed the district administration. Apart from the group of people helping the stranded passengers, there were a few who helped passengers reach the nearest hospitals.
Few people also used their personal vehicles to help victims while some others ensured regular supply of water and biscuits to the people involved in rescue work.
Locals said the incident reminded them of the train tragedy on March 20, 2015 in Bachrawan, 15 km away from Harchandpur. Around 36 passengers lost their lives while over 150 suffered serious injuries after Janata Express heading from Dehradun towards Varanasi was derailed.
First Published: Oct 11, 2018 12:34 IST