BHUBANESWAR: As the Visakhapatnam-Rayagada Passenger Special train jumped the track on Sunday evening in Andhra Pradesh, the six-year-old daughter of Dilip Kumar Patro fell from the upper berth but fortunately did not suffer any major injury.
While recounting the horror of the train's collision with Visakhapatnam-Palasa Passenger that left 14 people dead and 50 others injured, the child's mother thanked the Almighty for saving them.
Patro, a resident of Odisha's Rayagada district, was returning home with his wife, daughter and three others when the accident took place between Alamanda and Kantakapalle in the Vizianagaram-Kottavalasa Railway Section of Waltair Division of the East Coast Railway Zone.
"At around 7:10 pm, we felt a major jolt. Everything happened in seconds. My daughter who was sitting on a top berth fell down. There were screams for help and cries all around the coaches. Initially, I did not understand what had happened but later realized it was an accident," said Patro after reaching Raygada station on Monday.
The 35-year-old man said he took his daughter and belongings and asked his wife and other family members to get down from the tilted coach.
"With much difficulty and fear in our hearts, we could manage to get down from the train. I found people running helter-skelter near the track and two rail cars were derailed," he said.
Patro said he had seen someone lying under a coach, who was apparently dead.
"Many were saved as the number of passengers in the train was less as it was a Sunday. Had there been a packed coach, many lives could have been lost," he said.
His wife said that she would never forget the evening in her life.
"We must thank God that we are alive today. At that time our lone priority was to get out of the train," she said.
They ran for around one kilometre to reach the nearby National Highway from where they could be lifted by a rescue van from the Railways.
Similar was the story of many people at the Rayagada railway station who reached there by bus from the accident site.
Though none of the passengers from Odisha was on the list of the 14 deceased persons, some people from the state suffered injuries in the accident.
Meanwhile, East Coast Railway CPRO Biswajit Sahoo said both up and down lines have been restored and trains have started passing the area.
Now the priority is to restore the middle line, the CPRO said.