There were cries of pain everywhere: Nepal accident survivorJuly 24th, 2009 - 3:16 pm ICT by IANS
Kathmandu, July 24 (IANS) A 55-year-old bicycle mechanic from India’s Birsinghpur village recounted in stunned disbelief how a pilgrimage to Nepal turned into death and pain in pre-dawn darkness.
Ram Bahadur Gupta was one of the lucky passengers in the bus from Madhya Pradesh that began the pilgrimage 29 days ago with 30 passengers, most of them Indian pilgrims from the same state who were in their 60s and older.
“I was among the younger passengers,” Gupta told IANS. “It was a pilgrimage of a lifetime covering the Badrinarayan temple in Uttar Pradesh and the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu.”
On Wednesday, the pilgrims, who were travelling by road, prayed at the Pashupatinath temple and headed back home.
“We had been travelling throughout the day and night and around 2 a.m. Friday, when our bus stopped by the side of a bridge (in Gaidakot town in Nepal’s Nawalparasi district), many of us were fast asleep.”
Gupta was jolted out of sleep when the bus trembled and there was a crash, followed by the rain of glass as the window panes shattered.
“There was pandemonium,” he recalls. “People were crying, run, get out of the bus and there were cries of pain everywhere.”
“People lay with their arms and legs broken.”
A bus coming from the opposite direction did not see the pilgrims’ stationary vehicle in the dark and rammed into it, killing three and injuring 20.
While Gupta, who was sitting opposite the driver, was unscathed, his wife Krishna, 45, injured her hand.
A woman, Phulmoti Soni, died on the spot while a couple, both in their 90s, died in hospital.
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Tags: 60s, arms and legs, bahadur gupta, bicycle mechanic, crash, darkness, krishna, lifetime, lucky passengers, nawalparasi, nepal, pandemonium, pashupatinath temple, pilgrimage, pilgrims, pre dawn, rain, stunned disbelief, survivor, window panes