New Delhi: It could have been the last day of his life had he not exchanged the seat with his fellow passengers!
Journalist Santosh Upadhyay recounts the horrific images of the Sunday’s train accident in which more than 130 people were killed and 150 injured.
Upadhyay had boarded the Indore-Patna Express from Ujjain on Saturday with a waited-list ticket. He was assigned berth no.7 on the S2 coach by the train master.
At night, the journalist was approached by a lady who had a seat in S5 coach and wanted to exchange it with him so that she can sit with her friend in the S2 coach.
Upadhyay agreed and moved to S5.
While he was checking messages on his phone, he heard a loud noise and realized something terrible has happened. The train had derailed and among the worst hit were S1 and S2.
He managed to escape through the emergency window. But what he saw after that was horrifying. Dead bodies were lying on the ground and people were wailing.
“It was pitch dark and people were wailing. I knew that the train had met with an accident. By instinct, I called Bihar railway CPRO Vinay Kumar at 3.11am,” he told TOI, adding that by 3.17am, he had called the railway control room in Kanpur. Till the security personnel didn’t arrive, those who could come out of the train helped others, said the journalist. “You have seen it on TV, I have seen it up close. The coaches were flattened,” he added.
Upadhyay was lucky to survive but there are many families who are mourning the deaths of their loved ones.
“The physical injuries can heal, he said, “But what will I do to forget the horror I witnessed?”