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Odisha Train Accident: Chaos, screams of help all in a few minutes
Bhubaneswar: It was around 6.40 pm on Friday. Passengers travelling in the last coach of the ill-fated Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express involved in...
Bhubaneswar: It was around 6.40 pm on Friday. Passengers travelling in the last coach of the ill-fated Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express involved in the triple train accident heard a deafening sound and got a big jolt.
Anubhav Das, who was travelling from Howrah to Cuttack, looked out along with the co-passengers to see what happened. Panicked as they all were, they heard loud screams for help from three derailed general coaches when they got out. They started calling whoever they could access from their mobile phones for help. In no time the locals from the Bahanaga Bazaar, the accident spot, gathered in large numbers to the rescue of the accident victims.
Shaken, the survivors from a couple of other coaches could not fathom the enormity of the tragedy until the ambulances and fire services personnel moved into the outer station amidst screams and chaos. The real spot of the larger chaos was well ahead of these numbed survivors and as they moved on along the track, they saw many more mangled coaches of the Coromandel Express. Bodies and luggage were strewn around, some without heads and limbs. The engine of the superfast express had climbed atop a static freight train on the loop line, said Anubhav Das in an interview to an English news channel on Saturday evening.
Narrating his horrifying experience of the chaos prevailing soon after the disaster struck and screams from all around for help, Das said that none of them at that stage realised that the tragedy involved three trains, two passenger and one goods. According to him, the Yeshwantpur-Howrah Express, which was hurtling from the other direction in the Down Line, had almost crossed the Coromandel Express when the collision with the freight train happened and the bogies of the latter were derailed hitting the last three coaches of the former. He was, however, not sure of a head-on collision of the Chennai-bound express with the goods train and was under the impression that the passenger train was on its designated track.
Anubhav spent close to three-and-a-half hours on the spot along with others trying to rescue people before a private vehicle sent by his father from Cuttack fetched him. Luckily, he has escaped unscathed.
While a probe by the Railway Commissioner of Enquiry has been ordered, a preliminary report by the Observers Panel from the accident spot said that Coromandel Express was signaled to move on the Up Line, meaning to go straight, but got into the loop line where the goods train was waiting after a signal switch. Experts are of the view this aspect needs to be ascertained as it is too early to jump into any conclusion.
Earlier, visiting the spot, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the accident took place because of absence of anti-collision system on that stretch of the route.