LUCKNOW: Two heavy jerks followed by a defeatening thud and it brought literally everything --- life, fate and fortune -- crashing down in Indore-Patna Expresss. For the ones present in those fateful 14 coaches which jumped off the tracks on early Sunday morning, the world had suddenly turned upside down.
Amidst screams for life, people were coming down with berths, falling all around, piling upon one another. Majority were woken up from 3 am slumber to a shock as the journey, smooth so far, had suddenly taken a catastrophic turn. The clueless, hapless men, women and children were screaming, crying and struggling hard to hold on to one another.
While the journey of over 120 was rudely ended in a tragic death, scores injured were seen wailing with horrific tales to narrate.
Ruby Gupta (20) whose was about to start a new life by tying the nuptial knot on December 1, was running helter- skelter, wailing inconsolably in search of her father, ram Prasad Gupta.
Left with a fractured arm, Ruby, along with her family, was travelling in coach S1 in which scores were stuck -- some dead, some alive. Rescue teams were trying hard to cut it open to extricate the bodies and save the alive. Although Ruby and her siblings –Khushi and Archana, Vishal and Abhishek -- were saved by the rescuers at 8:30 am, they were clueless about the whereabouts of their father.
Ruby and her family were on their way to Mau from Indore for her marriage. She was accompanied by her mother, father and four siblings.
“I am running out of patience. I am unable to find my father. People are asking me to check in hospital or among the dead. I am clueless what to do. I have a fracture arm and my sisters are also badly hurt,” she said in utter pain.
Unsure of her wedding plans now, she was also worried about the jewellery and wedding clothes. “Everything is untraceable,” she said.
Similarly, 20-year-old Komal, a medical student, headed for her hometown Patna from Bhopal lost the battle of life after remaining trapped inside the derailed mangled coach for around 10 hours.
She boarded the fateful S2 coach at Bhopal on Saturday evening. S2 was one among the worst hit coaches. Komal’s feet got stuck under a fallen berth with mangled metallic sheets over it. She, with serious injuries, could not move for hours.
She kept screaming for help. Many tried to take her out and after a toil of hours, she was rescued by NDRF men who with the help of cutters and air pumps separated the piling up metal sheets she was stuck beneath.
Her parents in Patna, however, had sounded one of their relatives, Avinash, a Group D railway employee in Panki, Kanpur. He reached the site at 10 am. Komal fought the battle of life till 12:30 pm. but the last could not be saved as her injuries were too grave.
“The last one hour proved crucial. She was badly injured and surrounded by bodies," said Avinash. Paramedics too tried to revive her by pumping her chest, looking for her pulse but to no avail.
"I held her hand and told her not to give up. I said we will be back for her," said Rizwan, the cop who was one among those who made it to the accident site as early as 5 in the morning.