Orissa train tragedy survivors arrive in Kolkata

February 14th, 2009 - 6:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 14 (IANS) A train carrying survivors of Friday night’s Coromandel Express derailment in Orissa arrived at the Howrah railway station here Saturday as anxious relatives waited to receive them.

The police said at least 32 of the injured passengers came by the Bhadrak Special train while five others arrived at Howrah station early Saturday morning.

“I have been waiting for my son, Subhankar Roy, at the Howrah station since last night. At around 11.30 p.m. yesterday (Friday) we got a call from a mobile and came to know about the accident. My son was in the train. He was going to Chennai,” Subhankar’s anxious mother said.

“I tried several times to contact that number but could not get through as it was out of reach. I am now waiting for my son who must be in the train which has just arrived,” she said.

According to official sources, at least nine people were killed and around 150 injured when fourteen coaches of Howrah-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed Friday evening near Jajpur-Keonjhar Road railway station, about 120 km from Orissa capital Bhubaneswar.

“We’ve opened an emergency helpline at Howrah station. As far as we know, around 25 people, of whom four are critical, are undergoing treatment at medical college hospital at Cuttack,” a South Eastern Railway spokesperson told IANS.

“Apart from the 37 injured passengers, who have already arrived by trains, many people are coming to Kolkata by bus or private vehicles,” he said.

Recounting Friday night’s horror, one of the survivors of the tragedy, Ratan Sarkar said: “We heard a loud noise and suddenly all the lights went off after a sudden jerk. We immediately stepped out of our compartment and saw people screaming for help. It was a horrible experience.”

He and his family members escaped unhurt. “Now, I am really feeling relieved as I’m back home,” Sarkar said at the railway station.

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