Stampede survivors still look for lost kin, belongingsMay 17th, 2010 - 1:29 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) A day after a stampede at the New Delhi Railway Station left two people dead and several injured, many survivors were Monday still waiting at the station, looking for missing family members or lost belongings.
“I lost my phone somewhere, I can’t find my husband. I am waiting here for him,” said 27-year-old Shikha Dutta with tears in her eyes.
Rakesh Kumar, a daily wage worker from Patna, sat dazed outside the station.
“In this panic, I lost my luggage, somebody even stole my wallet. From my tickets to my phone with all the numbers in it…It’s all gone. Who should I go for help now?” asked Kumar.
The stampede took place Sunday when two Bihar-bound trains, New Delhi-Bhagalpur Vikramshila Express and New Delhi-Muzaffarpur Sapt Kranti Express, were scheduled to depart at 2.40 p.m. and 2.45 p.m.
Vikramshila Express was scheduled to leave from platform 12 and Sapt Kranti from platform 13, but a last minute swap led to the stampede in which a 35-year-old woman and a 14-year-old boy were killed.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Monday said that the railway ministry should be answerable.
“The railway ministry has to see through it as to what went wrong at the station and how could it be prevented later,” Dikshit told reporters.
Another angry survivor wanted to know why some trains were not being diverted to the Anand Vihar station that had been ready for five months to reduce the passenger load.
“Only seven regular trains and few summer specials go from Anand Vihar station. When will the government start acting fast to avoid such untimely deaths? The minister (Mamata Banerjee) is sitting in Kolkata and claiming to give compensation…which will reach when? She should come and see what we went through. How we survived…,” said 53- year-old Babulal Mishra, who also lost his luggage and money.
Railway authorities in the city, meanwhile, stopped selling platform tickets Monday at the New Delhi Railway Station as a precautionary measure.
“This step was taken to lessen the crowd on the platform. After yesterday’s incident we do not want such incidents to be repeated. Only old people and children are being given platform tickets,” a railway official said.
Railway authorities have set up a high-level committee to ascertain what led to the accident and what corrective measures should be taken.
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Tags: belongings, bhagalpur, chief minister, five months, kolkata, kranti, mamata banerjee, mishra, missing family, muzaffarpur, New Delhi, platform tickets, railway authorities, railway station, sapt, sheila dikshit, stampede, tears in her eyes, untimely deaths, waiting at the station