Survivors recount horror of derailed Hirakhand Express as government mulls NIA probe

Having a gala time at her cousin’s wedding in Rayagada in Odisha, Geetanjali Bhanja, along with her three daughters was returning to her hometown.

Published: 23rd January 2017 05:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd January 2017 05:21 AM   |  A+A-

Rescue operation at Kuneru railway station in Vizianagaram of Andhra Pradesh, where Hirakhand Express derailed, on Sunday | Express

VISAKHAPATNAM: Having a gala time at her cousin’s wedding in Rayagada in Odisha, Geetanjali Bhanja, along with her three daughters was returning to her home town Bhubaneswar.

While boarding the S9 coach of Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express at around 10 pm on Saturday night, never did she know a fateful night was waiting for her.

“After the train chugged out from Rayagada station, we all went to sleep. Suddenly, I felt like the train was tossed in the air. Then, a big thud and entire bogie went dark. I started groping my children in the dark. Suddenly, something heavy, may be a fan, hit my head. I was bleeding but seeing my two daughters safe gave me some relief. My anxiety reached the pick for I could not find my third daughter.

Then, I could hear her crying and finally found herstuck between two berths. We just escaped death by a whisker,” says Geetanjali who was admitted to KGH in Vizag with severe head injuries and bleeding nose.
One of her daughters, Sai Suchitra, suffered abrasion on her forehead and a shoulder fracture.
Another victim, Hari Govind Maharana, a resident of Brahmapur of Odisha said he was chit chatting with some fellow passengers.

“It must be around 11 to 11.30 pm, I was sitting on the window side. I heard screeching of wheels and saw the bogies swerving off the track. I suddenly went numb as I could not believe what I saw. Then, shouts of the passengers brought me back to my senses, but I could not move. My leg was stuck in the middle of berths. I saw the lady who was sitting next to me lying lifeless. Probably, she had died by then,”
Govind, who works in a court, said, adding that after a while some youth from the nearby area rescued him. He had suffered leg injuries.


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