SONPUR: A deafening bang and a powerful tremor flung sleeping passengers off their berths as the Delhi-bound Seemanchal Express, survivors recalled.
Imarti Devi, who boarded the train at Kishanganj, said she was fortunate to have escaped unhurt. “I prepared the bed for my mother-in-law... So we soon dozed off. Suddenly, I found myself hitting a hard surface, my ears still ringing from an explosion-like sound. It took me a few seconds to realise that I fell on the floor of the compartment,” she recalled.
Basawan Singh, a resident of Sahadei Buzurg, where the accident took place, said he initially mistook the accident for a bomb explosion.
“Initially suspecting that a bomb had exploded nearby, I and other fellow passengers cautiously ventured out carrying lathis in our hands... ” he said.
Another local, Rameshwar Rai, said, “Luckily, the site of the mishap wasn’t a remote or a sparsely-populated area...” he said. Both survivors and locals felt that luck favoured passengers as the accident of that magnitude and at that speed could have killed more people.