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Woman dies after falling from upper berth of Bengaluru-bound train

She fell when she was alighting; doctors say she may have died of spinal injury.

Published: 28th July 2019 06:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th July 2019 01:50 PM   |  A+A-

indian railways

For representational purposes (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: In one of the rarest accidents to have taken place inside a train, a 40-year-old woman who slipped when alighting from the upper berth of an AC coach died within a couple of hours due to suspected internal injuries. The incident took place on July 22 inside the Udyan Express, which was heading to Bengaluru from Mumbai. 

The deceased, Saraswathi Banisal, a Kolkata native, was employed at Jayanagar. It is not clear whether she was employed in a beauty parlour or ran her own outlet here. She was returning from Mumbai where she had been on a short visit to enhance her skills, a source said.  

A bit overweight, Banisal fell from the berth when she tried to alight from the berth well before it was to enter the Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna (Bengaluru City) railway station, said a railway official. 

“One of the passengers tweeted to the Railway Ministry about her fall. The Government Railway Police, railway officials and doctors were immediately alerted. Medical help was waiting on Platform three for the arrival of the train,” the official said. 

Dr S Snehalatha, general physician at a free clinic run by Manipal Hospitals in the concourse area of the station, said, “Two of our paramedical staff rushed to the station at 8.30 am. The train reached only after 9 am due to delays. They entered the compartment and checked all of her vital parameters which were alright. The patient was answering basic questions coherently and looked alright. They later brought her to the clinic on a stretcher.” 

En route, she even kept telling the police to be careful about her bag as it contained valuables. 

At the clinic too, her condition was assessed and initially she sounded okay. “However, her speech soon became blurred and she kept forgetting to answer a basic question like her residence in  Bengaluru. Since we suspected an internal head injury to be causing a loss of consciousness, we decided to rush her by ambulance to the nearby KC General Hospital,” Dr Snehalatha said. 

Apart from a nurse from the clinic, the ambulance also had a nurse and a GRP cop accompanying her. Later, the doctor received a call from the staff on board that the oxygen level was saturating. “I told them to increase the oxygen supply since they were nearing the hospital. As they reached the hospital, there was no response from her. Doctors waiting for the ambulance outside conducted a few basic tests and declared her as brought dead,” she added.

The patient may have suffered from a spinal cord injury or an internal head injury which only the post mortem report will make clear, she said. TNSE spoke to Alpana, her younger sister in Kolkata, who said she was unaware if her sister had any previous health condition as she lived away from home for most of her life. 

Avoid upper berths if you have health issues: Doc

Dr Snehalatha said, “The exact reason for the woman’s death on board the train will be clear when we see the autopsy report. However, as a matter of caution, it is better for those suffering from BP or sugar problems to avoid occupying middle or upper berths in trains. We do not know when the impact of high or low BP or sugar levels can happen.”

It could be dangerous if one loses control when alighting or boarding the berths, the doctor added.

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