Even as survivors of the Bangalore-Nanded Express inferno rushed to greet Sharanabasava for rescuing them, this real-life hero was seen weeping inconsolably, his eyes transfixed on the burnt bogie.
Sharanabasava, who was travelling with a group of relatives on the B-1 coach, lost his wife and father-in-law in the tragedy that claimed 24 other lives in the wee hours of Saturday.
As the compartment went up in flames and amid chaos, Sharanabasava and some other passengers took it upon themselves to save fellow travellers. They initially tried to break open the glass window, but these were very tough to break.
Sharanabasava and the other rescuers then rushed inside a train toilet and removed grills and panes from a window to help pull out nearly 20 passengers. However, it was only after police and rescue services reached the spot did Sharanabasava realise he had not pulled out his wife and father-in-law to safety.
A sobbing Sharanabasava pleaded with rescue workers to locate his wife Sarva Mangalam (30) and her father H K M Baswaraj (64). “I helped a lot of the passengers by pushing them out of the train but failed in saving the lives of my own family members,” he said.